Military Alphabet- Read Phonetic Alphabets with Pronunciation

When you look at the military phonetic alphabet, they actually make use of 27 code words that will represent each of the alphabetical letters in English that we have learned. These are mostly heard in any action movie or had been used in wars, comic books, and novels and certain games as well. But one might not have any clue why are these military alphabets had been used in place of the regular alphabet that we learned.

History Behind Military Alphabets

Before World War I, the development and use of two-way radio came into being and it was becoming popular in the wars. Since these radios supported voice, these military alphabets were discovered to improve any type of communication in the telephone circuits which are of low-quality and long-distanced.

Military alphabet

In addition to these, many letters in the English language like N and M or to say D and B sound more or less similar. This may create a lot of confusion when the force is going for a mission for war or going for a serious rescue operation when the force has gone to bring someone back home.

These alphabets were used for the first time by the CCIR during 1927. The results were so positive and encouraging. Because of this, they were adopted to use the military alphabet for use also in civil aviation and continued to be used by the International Commission for Air Navigation till 1965. The US, UK, and the Australian forces had to go for many joint operations and they did not have any single code of military alphabets. Hence, a uniform military alphabet code for joint operations became necessary and they set together to frame a uniform military alphabet code.

It’s also been considered as one of the most effective forms of radio communication tactics all around the world. The military phonetic alphabet has undergone several changes for several years and now it remained as one of the most commonly used forms of voice communication around the globe. This is particularly followed by certain agencies that need to communicate in the most concise telephone and radio interactions.

What is Military Alphabets?

Military alphabets are also known as International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet. The International Civil Aviation Organization developed military alphabet code for radio communications. NATO also uses the same thing. Communication is very crucial and important when it comes to military people as well as people who related to civil aviation. They need to communicate in a better and clear way and update their mission status, codes, locations, and other important information. Here we give a table for NATO Phonetic Alphabet history by which you come to know about the original word for the military alphabet. You may also like the story behind Navy Seal Copypasta that set the internet on fire.

Letter 1913 1927 1938 World War- II 1957 to today
A Able Affirmative Afirm Afirm Alfa or Alpha
B Boy Baker Baker Baker Bravo
C Cast Cast Cast Charlie Charlie
D Dog Dog Dog Dog Delta
E Easy Easy Easy Easy Echo
F Fox Fox Fox Fox Foxtrot
G George George George George Golf
H Have Hypo Hypo How Hotel
I Item Interrogatory Int Int (Item) India
J Jig Jig Jig Jig Juliet
K King King King King Kilo
L Love Love Love Love Lima
M Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike
N Nan Negative Negat Negat (Nan) November
O Oboe Option Option Option Oscar
P Pup Preparatory Prep Prep Papa
Q Quack Quack Queen Queen Quebec
R Rush Roger Roger Roger Romeo
S Sail Sail Sail Sugar Sierra
T Tare Tare Tare Tare Tango
U Unit Unit Unit Uncle Uniform
V Vice Vice Victor Victor Victor
W Watch William William William Whiskey
X X-Ray X-Ray X-Ray X-Ray X-Ray
Y Yoke Yoke Yoke Yoke Yankee
Z Zed Zed Zed Zebra Zulu

But as most of the letters in English sounds similar when pronounced they have come up with the military alphabet. In this way, they can now have much clearer communication while being in military operations. So, it makes it easy for them to inform and convey to their command.

Military Alphabet Phonetic

The military alphabets have been created out of necessity that has been a great benefit for the militants and those who want to communicate clearly. This kind of intentionally recognized spelling alphabets is widely used in civil navigation, armed forces, maritime operations, certain kinds of law enforcement agencies in various countries. It’s definitely the best way to deliver the information to the other person clearly without any confusion. So, they can take the necessary steps accordingly.

By following the Military alphabets, one can now transmit clearly about what they wanted to share or communicate. Similar to the military alphabet number area also communicated irrespective of the surrounding noise pollution and the quality of communication connection, which they have while speaking on the phone.

Military alphabets

These codes were and still being used to avoid any confusion that the speaker makes in his pronunciation. Pronunciation varies from one person to the other and it may create difficulty in communication during the war times. For example, the message “we proceed to map grid DH98” will be spoken in the military alphabet as “proceed to map grid Delta-Hotel-Niner-Ait”

Download Military Alphabet Printable

Military Alphabet Pronunciation Pdf

Using below Military Alphabet Chart for the 26 letters in English you can easily pronounce the alphabets country or city wise.

Zone Code Time Zone Name or

Military Phonetic Alphabet


Military Alphabet Pronunciation


City or Country
A Alpha AL fah Paris, France
B Bravo BRAH voh Athens, Greece
C Charlie CHAR lee Moscow, Russia
D Delta DEL tah Kabul, Afghanistan
E Echo EKK oh New Delhi, India
F Foxtrot FOKS trot Dhaka, Bangladesh
G Golf Golf Bangkok, Thailand
H Hotel HO tell Beijing, China
I India IN dee ah Tokyo, Japan
J Juliet JEW lee ett Local Time Zone
K Kilo KEY loh Sydney, Australia
L Lima LEE mah Honiara, Solomon Islands
M Mike Mike Wellington, New Zealand
N November NOH vem ber Azores
O Oscar OSS car Godthab, Greenland
P Papa PAH pah Buenos Aires, Argentina
Q Quebec keh BECK Halifax, Nova Scotia
R Romeo ROW me oh New York, NY, US
S Sierra see AIR ah Dallas, TX United States
T Tango TANG go Denver, CO US
U Uniform YOU nee form Los Angeles, CA the US
V Victor VIK ter Juneau, AK US
W Whiskey WISS key Honolulu, HI US
X X-Ray EKS ray Nome, AK US
Y Yankee YANG kee Suva, Fiji
Z Zulu Zoo loo Greenwich, England

The above codes are not only used by the military but also widely used and accepted in International Air Aviation. Not only code but some phrases which are very famous and commonly used by all. So, below are some very common Military Alphabet Phrases.

  • Bravo Zulu= Good Job or Well Done
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot= WTF
  • 11 Bravo= Army Infantry
  • Lima Charlie= Loud and clear
  • Whiskey Pete= White Phosphorus
  • 40 Mike Mike= 40 Millimeter Grenade or M203 Grenade Launcher
  • Whiskey Charlie= Water Closet
  • Oscar Mike= On the Move
  • Charlie Foxtrot= Cluster F**k
  • Tango Yankee= Thank You
  • Charlie Mike= Continue Mission
  • Tango Uniform=Toes Up, meaning killed or destroyed
  • Echo Tango Sierra= Expiration Term of Service
  • Tango Mike=Thank Much
  • Mikes= Minutes
  • November Golf= NG or No Go

I hope you know complete details about the military alphabet. Reading this blog, you can now easily decode the message pass by any military men. If you want to know more about military time and its conversion method, you can refer to our article Military Time Conversion

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