How Do You Read a Military Clock?


Quick Answer

To read a military clock, use the 24-hour time system to indicate the hour of the day. The seconds and minutes indicated by the clock are the same as that in a clock following the 12-hour time system.

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Full Answer

On the 24-hour clock, as with the 12-hour clock, the shorter hand indicates the hours and the longer hand the minutes. The hour hand of the clock's dial makes a 360-degree revolution in one day. The hours indicating noon and midnight are located 180 degrees apart from one another. The noon hour may be located at the top of the dial and the midnight hour at the bottom or vice-versa.

In the 24-hour time system, midnight is usually indicated as 0000 hours, though it is sometimes indicated as 2400 hours. The 24 hours in a day are then indicated in one-hour increments. Thus, 1 a.m. is indicated as 0100 hours, 2 a.m. as 0200 hours and so on with 11 p.m. being indicated as 2300 hours.

To read hours and minutes on the clock, use the 24-hour time system for the hours and the 12-hour time system for the minutes. For example, read 11:59 p.m., the last minute of the day, as 2359 hours. Similarly, read 10:15 a.m. as 1015 hours.

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