I will be the first to admit that I still have to google military time to figure it out. Some say just subtract twelve from whatever the military time is  and you will get the correct time in lamen’s terms.

Are you kidding me? Who has time to do algebra just to figure out what time it is?

At home you would think I have the support (time wise) of the subject below!

That would be Mr. AW101


He thinks it hilarious that I can’t tell military time. I mean I think I have a valid complaint . Why is it that when I want to ride past the commissary hours to see what time they open they have to be in military time. The PX hours are in military time , hell the clinic on post was in military time. When I used to make doctor’s appointments on post they would say I have an appointment at fourteen hundred or fifteen thirty…are you available?

Do I look like I am available? Hell I probably just agreed to go get a pap during my kids awards assembly because you couldn’t just say I have an appointment at 2:00 or 3:30!

My husband above does the same thing!

If I ask you what time is it because Army Wives comes on at 10PM then I need to hear the exact precise time. Instead he proceeds with the whole military time thing and now I have a calculus equation to figure out instead of knowing that I am 30 seconds from missing the only TV highlight of my entire week.

For those that need a chart like “moi” check this out.

So tell me does your soldier do the whole military thing with you too or better yet do you understand military time?




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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

34 Comments on Me and The Military Time Thing…Am I The Only One?

  1. Don’t worry about subtracting 12… starting with 1300, drop the 1 and minus 2…of course this only works until 2000, then you get negative numbers.

  2. My soldier HATES military time! He knows how to do it he just hates it. I’m the one who understands it. Haha. I don’t use it but when I’m dealing with military related things it’s handy to have.

  3. You made me LOL so hard with this!! I get confused all the time. My husband tells me the same thing yours said. Everytime he says he have an appointment at certain time I always say “that’s great, now english please?!

  4. I’ve gotten quite good in the last 5 years at telling military time. My husband gets kind of irritated though when I use it at home…I get the impression that he just kinda wants to leave military time at work.

  5. I gotta say I love the military time. It’s easy and I find it somewhat of stupid proof. At least it doesn’t confuse me as much as AM and PM because a lot of people won’t say that, they just say 4.
    Now here’s a funny story. I wanted to book a doctors appointment and the lady on the phone tells me that got a spot open at 6. I thought she meant 0600 (as in 6AM), so I asked her if she got anything later than that as I would have to get up very early to make it, then she says she latest they have is 730, as they close at 8. Me thinking out loud….I’ve never heard of a doctors office only being open for 2 hours!
    And the lady on the phone was very confused…
    …so I told her…you said you can get me in at 6 (as in 6 in the morning), I asked for a later appointment so you say 730 is the latest you can give me as the office closes at 8.

    She did not say anything about AM or PM, thinking everyone automatically knows what she is talking about. Well I wasn’t. As 6 or 0600 is 6AM for me and not 1800 or 6PM.
    I’ve used military time since I can remember as I find it easy and more exact to tell what time it is without getting confused…well at least for me it is. …

    • I love military time because of people like you mentioned that never say what time. So they’ll say something like 6… and I too don’t like early appointments, so I’ll assume they mean 0600 because that’s mostly what people try to schedule me for and it’s rare to find a doctor/dentist or anyone open at 6pm. I like military time because it limits the confusion for me.

  6. Oh My Goodness, my boyfriend would irritate me so much with the military time. He would say a time… 1730… when is that i ask. 1730. He suggested the same about subtracting 12. Since he wouldn’t budge I decided to learn. I did this by changing the time on my cell phone to military time. It has helped me.

  7. My mom started trying to get me to use military time when I was like 15 because she was a cop, and that’s what they used. I didn’t know wtf was going on though, and didn’t learn it until I was 25 when I joined the Army. Now I find it easier to use because I don’t have to worry about “Is that AM or PM?” I just say that. It’s also easier to communicate on post since everyone there says it too.

  8. Andrea I do the exact same thing and it helps me also! I also have just about every time in 24 hour mode, if it can be switched, so it has forced me to learn. Hubby’s an Army brat so military time comes natural for him and hes constantly throwing times out so I had to learn.

    • I grew up as an Army brat, mostly in Germany. “Military” time is the norm in Europe… so it comes pretty easy for me. But the way I listed above was how I taught myself. :)

  9. I do ok up untill one o’clock. After that I use my fingers lol. My husband laughs at me for it but hey it works and is easiest for me to figure it out. If he tells me he had sometging at fifteen hundred I start with one finger for 13, two for 14 and so on. Lol. He still thinks it is funny even after all this time :)

  10. Lol you are definitely not the only one! I did a post on military time on my facebook page the other day and it made me feel a lot better about my struggles!

  11. I love reading this but I thought the same thing until I had to add ZULU time on top of that!! I just keep my phone is milatry time and I have for sometime, makes it easier to learn. 3 pm is easy, since its 1500 and it is at 15 min. Other than just memorizing certain times bust out the fingers. I count up from 12 not subtract. I actully now prefer Military time for ease. Good Luck!!

  12. My Airman is fluent in military time and lingo. I on the other hand am constantly counting on my fingers trying to figure out the time. Over here in Belgium they use the same military time so it’s a little less confusing now that I live in it and am surrounded by it.

  13. I have to admit that I absolutely love using military time. Right before my hubby first went into the Army, I decided I needed to figure out the whole 24 hour clock. I knew that if I didn’t learn it my husband and I would end up confusing each other constantly.

    I knew from learning to speak 5 foreign languages that the best way to learn something like this was to immerse myself, as much as possible.
    There were 2 things that I did that made learning military time a lot easier for me. I also knew by doing those two things that I was using it in the correct manner as well as accurately.

    So…here they come! Are you ready? Are you sure? Well if you say you’re ready here they are.

    1) I changed the settings on my watch. I changed it from the 12 hour to 24 hour setting. I have been wearing a Timex Expedition digital watch (the Ladies version of the Timex Ironman Digital Watch) for at least 15 years (which means I know how to change pretty much every setting the watch has) and it is very easy to change.

    2) I changed the setting on my cell phone from 12 hour to 24 hour time.

    By changing both my cell phone and my watch I forced 4 things to happen:
    A) I was forced to get used to it
    B) I was forced to learn how to correctly use military time and,
    C) I was forced to understand how the 24 hour clock worked
    D) I learned how to quickly and easily “translate” time to and from am/pm

    The best thing about knowing and using military time is that there is typically no confusion when you have things to do on post and, even better than that, my hubby and I don’t confuse each other regarding the time!

  14. I never really had an issue with it as it seemed easier to explain or make appointments on base using military time. Once I got use to it, it was so much easier.. how I learned was just subtract 2 from the main number and you get the time.. as in 1300.. we know that the 1 is after noon and 00 is minutes so subtract 2 from 3 and you get 1pm.

  15. I have to know military time because I work in a hospital. Just add 12 to the number :)

    10pm = 10+12=22 so it becomes 2200
    7pm = 7+12=19 so 1900

    It takes getting used to but it works!

  16. This is hilarious! I have a lot of family and friends in the service and I actually get offended when they say military time and then correct themselves because I’m a civilian. LOL. I guess I’m weird.

  17. I actually learned military time first… weird, I know :)
    I like it better than the 12 hr clock system because there’s no confusion of AM or PM. Even my phone is set on military time! (#militarybratproblems?:)

  18. My husband uses military time and military abbreviations and medical terms (his civilian job and now MOS)! And this is only in his letters from bootcamp! I have the military time pretty much down, and military abbreviations I’m learning or can look up, but that darn medical language!!! :-)

  19. My husband speaks to me in military time and abbreviations sometimes. I always stop him and remind him who he’s talking to. It’s always a good laugh. “Ain’t nobody got time” to be trying to figure out all these encryptions, LOL! Very funny post!

  20. Military time is very easy to use because there’s no misunderstanding about AM and PM. Only minutes in military time is still confusing me. Maybe you can ask your husband how to deal with the minutes?

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