Are there Different Names for Military Time?
Military time is also known as Zulu time or 24 hour time. But are these time designations all the same? Let’s find out.
Military time is an easier, more reliable way of telling time and people around the world use different names for when they want to refer to military time, like Zulu time or simply 24 hour time. Each one of these time designations are based on a 24 hour clock, unlike civilian time (also known as regular time, standard time, or normal time) which makes use of a 12 hour format. Like Military time, Zulu time and 24 hour time removes all confusion that stems from using civilian time and the need to use A.M. and P.M. time designations.
Where does the Name “Zulu Time” come from?
To understand where the term “Zulu time” comes from, we first need to discuss time zones. It’s first important to understand that every time zone across the world is designated by a different letter of the alphabet, and the Greenwich, England time zone is marked by the letter “Z”. It is marked by the letter “Z” because Greenwich signified the point of origin. And since the NATO phonetic alphabet word for the letter “Z” is also represented by the term “Zulu”, military time was and still is at times referred to as “Zulu time”. Due to the fact that so many U.S. military operations are required to coordinate operations across time zones, the military uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), otherwise known as the Zulu Time Zone and “Zulu time” in shorthand, as another name for military time.
Is there a Difference Between Military time and Zulu Time?
Military time and Zulu time are both based on a 24 hour clock starting from one midnight and ending the following midnight, however with Zulu time, midnight is based on local time at the 0° longitude prime meridian, in other words Greenwich, Enhland. This is the only slight difference between military time and Zulu time. 0000, which is zero hundred hours, corresponds to midnight local time regardless of global location, while 0000 in Zulu time corresponds to midnight at the Greenwich meridian only. This means that, in the United States, 0000 Zulu time can refer to and range from 2 P.M. local time in Hawaii to 7 P.M. or 8 P.M. local time on the East Coast.
What about 24 Hour time?
24 hour time is quite similar to military time. The basic principles of 24 hour time is exactly the same as military time. The only two differences between military time and 24 hour time is in how they are expressed. The 24 hour time setting does not use a leading zero and does make use of a colon, while military time uses a leading zero but makes no use of a colon. For example, 9 A.M. is expressed as 9:00 in 24 hour time and as 0900 in military time and 9 P.M. is expressed as 21:00 in 24 hour time and as 2100 in military time respectively. Knowing these clear distinctions between how 24 hour time and military time is expressed can help you decide which time format would be better suited for different situations and activities.
MILITARY Time, Zulu Time and 24 Hour Time
Military time, Zulu time and 24 hour time are all names used to express the same 24 hour time format, yet differences between the three names cannot however be ignored and are important to keep in mind when you think about, write or use military time formats or designations.