Military Alphabet. Words as Letters.

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Yeah. Those words are letters.

Not only does the military use a ridiculous amount of acronyms but they use a secondary alphabet too. The Military Alphabet, you may have heard it called the “Phonetic Alphabet” is used to clearly pronounce letters in confusing (ie mortars going off around you) situations especially over the radio where things are easily distorted. Clarity is incredibly important so we have words for letters.

I’ll be 100% honest, some of the words picked crack me up and some are 100% appropriate for the military. The only thing I kinda (ok REALLY) wish is that instead of Uniform, they used Unicorn. It would have been icing on the cake.

You can find the full list of the military/phonetic alphabet below. Two of my favorite phrases…

Bravo Zulu – Well Done    {Totes don’t understand why BZ apparently its a naval thing.}

November Golf – No Go    {I kinda feel like I should start using this instead of no with my kids. Maybe they’ll listen more. haha.}

History of the Military Phonetic Alphabet

The first phonetic alphabet was born in 1927 and an updated version was adopted in 1941 to standardize the alphabet among the US military branches. The United States, United Kingdom and Australia allied up to create an alphabet to streamline communication through their joint war efforts. It wasn’t until 1956 that the alphabet we know and hate/love was finalized as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (IRSA). It was adopted all over the world, via NATO.

Military Alphabet. Phonetic Alphabet.

Military Alphabet (aka Phonetic Alphabet)

A – Alpha
B – Bravo
C – Charlie
D – Delta
E – Echo
F – Foxtrot
G – Golf
H – Hotel
I – India
J – Juliet
K – Kilo
L – Lima
M – Mike

N – November
O – Oscar
P – Papa
Q – Quebec
R – Romeo
S – Sierra
T – Tango
U – Uniform
V – Victor
W – Whiskey
X – X-Ray
Y – Yankee
Z – Zulu

Want more military life wisdom? Check out my Military Wife Life Dictionary & Glossary!  A continually growing military wife dictionary & glossary. All the words, acronyms and randomness the military comes up with.

Military Alphabet

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