Military Time Zones

military time zones 1The United States Military, Chinese Military, and many others across the globe use military time zones to help with planning. It is used to ensure standardization and effective communication across many different time zones. The names are based on the NATO phonetic alphabet. The system was originally based on the works within the American Practical Navigator published in 1802 by Nathaniel Bowditch.

The letter J, otherwise known as Juliet, was originally not included. Now it is used to identify the observer’s local time.
The letter Z, otherwise known as Zulu, is used to describe the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or UTC.

The military time zones can be used with military time to identify a time and zone (see Military Time Converter). For example, 9:30 AM in the UTC + 7 zone is written 0900G and pronounced “zero nine hundred golf.”

The standard military order is distributed using Zulu or UTC (Greenwich Mean Time). Military time zones are an important factor in military operations. For example, imagine that orders were given to move at 1000 Zulu. No matter where you are in the world, you can calculate the local military time at which you are to move. Say you are located in Dubai, UAE, which falls in the Delta (UTC +4) time zone. To figure out the appropriate local time to move, you would simply add 4 hours to 1000 Zulu. This means you would depart at 1400D or “Fourteen Hundred Delta” from Dubai.

Military Time Zones Chart

The military time zones chart below outlines the different zone names that the military applies to each time zone offset from UTC.

Zone Time Offset Major City
Alpha UTC +1 Paris, France
Bravo UTC +2 Munich, Germany
Charlie UTC +3 Moscow, Russia
Delta UTC +4 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Echo UTC +5 New Delhi, India
Foxtrot UTC +6 Dhaka, Bangladesh
Golf UTC +7 Bangkok, Thailand
Hotel UTC +8 Hong Kong, China
India UTC +9 Seoul, South Korea
Kilo UTC +10 Melbourne, Australia
Lima UTC +11 Honiara, Solomon Islands
Mike UTC +12 Auckland, New Zealand
November UTC -1 Praia, Cabo Verde
Oscar UTC -2 Nuuk, Greenland
Papa UTC -3 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Quebec UTC -4 Halifax, Nova Scotia
Romeo UTC -5 Boston, MA United States
Sierra UTC -6 Austin, TX United States
Tango UTC -7 Phoenix, AZ United States
Uniform UTC -8 San Francisco, CA United States
Victor UTC -9 Juneau, AK United States
Whiskey UTC -10 Honolulu, HI United States
X-Ray UTC -11 Nome, AK United States
Yankee UTC -12 Suva, Fiji
Zulu UTC Greenwich, United Kingdom