In daily life, most of us use the typical 12 hour clock to tell time.  In using this method, that means that we are also required to say and use AM or PM.  This causes multiple problems such as typos in emails, mis-understandings in conversations, and the dreaded alarm clock.  How many of us have used our phones and accidentally set it to go off at 7:00 PM instead of AM?  Never fear, there is a solution to the AM-PM fiasco, which is to use the 24 hour clock that is used in the military.  Never heard of the 24 hour clock before?  No problem, it's fairly simple to understand via our military time chart.

The first part of the 12 hours is easy, because you already know it!  It starts at 0000 and makes it way up to 24000.  The clock starts at midnight, which is officially the beginning of the day.  The end of the day is also at midnight, signalling the end of the previous day and the start of the next.  The trick is not to think of midnight as being the end of the day because it may mess up the thinking process with the numbers.

When using a 24 hour clock, the numbers are always in thousands.  For instance, midnight is 0000, signalling it is the beginning of the day.  You would read it as “it's zero hundred hours.”  Where we would say, “it's one o-clock,” the military would say that it is “ thirteen hundred hours” (13000).  This may seem extremely confusing right now, but will get clearer as we go through the entire process step by step.  At the end, you'll be able to see how much simpler and clearer 24 hour time telling is.

Now that we've learned a few things about how to read it, let's learn now to tell it.  It is best expressed through a chart:

military time conversion chart (24 hour clock chart)




There are many uses for using military time in the public world as well as the private one.  The main advantage is that there is no room for confusion or misunderstanding the time as it is read off.  When using a 12 hour time clock, there is the difference between AM and PM, as well as how some people read the time off.  Some will say “It's 9:45 AM.” whereas others will say “It's quarter to 10 in the morning.”  These little changes make a difference in how easily it is understood.  In reading military time, it's read the same way by everyone, regardless of dialect or traditions.  For this reason, it is the universal way to read time.

In business life, understanding times is critical to work production.  For that reason, military time is often used in business documents to ensure no confusion.  It is precise and always understood as long as the reader knows how to read military time.  For example, in business writing, the writer would not put “noon” or “midnight” (though occasionally midnight is used), but rather 12:00 for noon or 00:00 for midnight.  There is no need to put AM or PM because that doesn't exist in military time.  Therefore, there is already less confusion.  Another important element in understanding military time-telling in the business world is the integration of time zones.  They are crucial in business documents, seeing as often businesses have various offices in many different zones and keeping everything straight is essential.

In email correspondence, we can see how this would be important.  For example, if we had to host a meeting and were bringing in other offices via telephone, the time zone would probably be different from ours.  In order to make sure they are able to phone in and join the meeting, the time would have to be listed as well as the time zone, to ensure no confusion.  These little details make all the difference in business: a business deal or meeting can easily go bad with a mix up on time, so this 24 hour system is put into place to minimize this risk.

Another equally important business venture that involves time-telling is record keeping.  In a business where you need to do case reports, or keep log books, the exact time and place is crucial to ensure reliability if/when they are needed down the road.  In a court case or a possible inspection on record keeping, there is no room for error in how time is recorded.  For that reason, the business system requires military precision and a universal understanding in time-keeping.  As mentioned, this involves the 24 hour clock cycle and the time zones, to ensure no confusion when checking a fact or making an official statement on the record.

Lastly, military time-keeping is useful when using the internet to contact people.  With the growing use of Skype, or other similar programs, quite often business meetings will involve people from all over the world.  Skype has the feature that it will tell you the time and location of the person you are chatting with, but what good is that when no one knows what the meeting time is?  For that reason, one location will host the meeting and will give them a local time (meaning, a local time to the host) that the meeting will occur.  They will, of course, include a time zone, and the other members will ensure that they are online when the time occurs in their own zones.  It is similar to the example of the phone call, and quite often, these two are interchangeable.

Without a doubt military time is precise, comprehensive, and universal.  It serves its purposes in many different businesses and aids in ensuring that people can connect more and without the unnecessary confusion of 12 hour time telling.

All About the military time clock (24 Hour Clock)

The 24-hour clock is the convention of time keeping in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into 24 hours, indicated by the hours passed since midnight, from 0 to 23.This system is the most commonly used time notation in the world today, and is used by international standard ISO 8601In the practice of medicine, the 24-hour clock is generally used in documentation of care as it prevents any ambiguity as to when events occurred in a patient’s medical history. Lots of industries that run shifts around the clock use military time as it is less likely to be mix peoples shifts up . It is popularly referred to as military time in the United States, Canada, and a handful of other countries where the 12-hour clock is still dominant