List of military time zones

This is a list of military time zones as defined in the ACP 121(I) standard.[1] It is used by many nations' armed forces, particularly members of the Combined Communications Electronics Board. The names are identical to the NATO phonetic alphabet.

Going east from the prime meridian at Greenwich, letters "Alfa" through "Mike" (skipping "J", see below) represent the 12 time zones with positive UTC offsets until reaching the international Date Line. Going west from Greenwich, letters "November" through "Yankee" represent zones with negative offsets.

The system apparently originates from Nathaniel Bowditch's 1802 American Practical Navigator book, where time zones were labelled with letters and "J" was skipped[2] to avoid confusion with "I" and because some alphabets, including Cyrillic do not have a "J".

The letter "J" ("Juliet"), originally skipped, may be used to indicate the observer's local time,[3] although the practice is not standardized.

The letter "L" ("Lima") is commonly mistaken for "local".[4]

The letter "Z" ("Zulu") indicates Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

The letters are typically used in conjunction with military time. For example, 6:00 a.m. in zone UTC−5 is written "0600R" and spoken "oh six hundred Romeo".

Time zone nameLetterOffset
Alfa Time Zone A +1
Bravo Time Zone B +2
Charlie Time Zone C +3
Delta Time Zone D +4
Echo Time Zone E +5
Foxtrot Time Zone F +6
Golf Time Zone G +7
Hotel Time Zone H +8
India Time Zone I +9
Kilo Time Zone K +10
Lima Time Zone L +11
Mike Time Zone M +12
November Time Zone N −1
Oscar Time Zone O −2
Papa Time Zone P −3
Quebec Time Zone Q −4
Romeo Time Zone R −5
Sierra Time Zone S −6
Tango Time Zone T −7
Uniform Time Zone U −8
Victor Time Zone V −9
Whiskey Time Zone W −10
X-ray Time Zone X −11
Yankee Time Zone Y −12
Zulu Time Zone Z 0

See also


  1. "Communication instructions – General Archived 2011-08-07 at the Wayback Machine", Allied Communications Publication ACP 121(I), Annex A to Chapter 3, Combined Communications-Electronics Board, October 2010
  2. Nathaniel Bowditch, American Practical Navigator, Chapter 18 "Time", Section 1806 "Zone Time".
  3. "Military Time Conversion & Time Zones Charts". Retrieved 2013-09-23.
  4. "Administrative Instructions: Expressing Time", Guidance for Plans, Orders, and Annexes, United States Army
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