Military time has a rather unique place in the larger culture. On one hand, it’s ubiquitous enough that most people will quickly recognize it. If someone brings up the time and the term hundred pops up then it’s clearly a different way of telling time. But that usage can seem erratic from the outside. Getting a better grasp of the subject begins with a military time chart.
18 in military time
The first thing to learn about military time is that it’s not really limited to the military. This is one of the most important steps in learning something new. Learning where it’s used also helps to show why it’s used.
Military time tends to show up in most mission-critical jobs. If failure at a task would be a disaster then this time will usually be the norm. In large part, this is because the tasks will usually need to be attended to around the clock.
In most day to day situations, it’s usually easy to figure out if someone is talking about 6 AM or PM. If someone brings up a meeting for dinner around six then it can be assumed to take place in the evening. Or someone might want to meet up after work around six. With most jobs having set schedules set around daylight hours it’s easy to assume that after work at six will mean six PM.
But in jobs that function around the clock, the same assumptions can’t be made. It’s inevitable that people will quickly forget to clarify AM or PM in discussions. People simply tend to fall back into their usual habits when not explicitly concentrating on using a different system.
Military time is designed around the idea of precision amid simplicity. When someone says 1800 there’s no room for confusion about the meaning. And the same goes for 1000 or 0900 hours. This is why it is by no means limited to the military. It’s a time system for anyone working in mission-critical areas or who needs to reduce chances for confusion.
18 hundred hours
Learning how to use military time can be best demonstrated by returning to the idea of 1800. If someone says they want to meet up at 1800 than someone who doesn’t know this special way of telling time will be in a rough position. But if he or she has a military time chart it’s a simple matter of locating 1800 on the list.
Going by the chart, one will see that 1800 is six PM in standard measurement. This is great for one-time use and it’s a good way to dip one’s toes in the water. But after a while, the chart will start to make a lot more sense. The more one uses it the more obvious it becomes that military time actually makes much more sense than the standard measurements. This leads to one of the best ways to actually learn military time.
Show me military time
A chart will almost always lead to actually understanding it on an unconscious level. This mainly comes down to how it is designed. It’s really not that different from the standard system of measurement. Basically, past noon the hours are simply added onto 12 rather than having it rest to 1.
The 12-hour system resets after 12 hours have passed, which means noon. But the 24-hour military time system only resets at the 24-hour mark. So instead of going from 12 to 1, it goes from 12 to 13. Then at 2 pm, it’d go to 1400 hours and so on.
When people first start out this is best done through the use of a chart. And the same goes for people who don’t really need to use military time very often. But after using the chart for a while it can become second nature.