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Military Alphabet

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The Military Alphabet is a phonetic alphabet. A phonetic alphabet is a list of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio or telephone. Spoken words from an approved list are substituted for letters. For example, the word "Navy" would be "November Alfa Victor Yankee" when spelled in the phonetic alphabet. This practice helps to prevent confusion between similar sounding letters, such as "m" and "n", and to clarify communications that may be garbled during transmission.

The words chosen to represent some letters have changed since the phonetic alphabet was introduced. When these changes occur, they are made by international agreement. The current phonetic alphabet was adopted in 1957.

Military Phonetic Alphabet
Letter191319271938World War II1957-Present
AAbleAffirmativeAfirmAfirm (Able)Alfa
BBoyBakerBakerBakerBravo
CCastCastCastCharlieCharlie
DDogDogDogDogDelta
EEasyEasyEasyEasyEcho
FFoxFoxFoxFoxFoxtrot
GGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGolf
HHaveHypoHypoHowHotel
IItemInterrogatoryIntInt (Item)India
JJigJigJigJigJuliett
KKingKingKingKingKilo
LLoveLoveLoveLoveLima
MMikeMikeMikeMikeMike
NNanNegativeNegatNegat (Nan)November
OOboeOptionOptionOption (Oboe)Oscar
PPupPreparatoryPrepPrep (Peter)Papa
QQuackQuackQueenQueenQuebec
RRushRogerRogerRogerRomeo
SSailSailSailSugarSierra
TTareTareTareTareTango
UUnitUnitUnitUncleUniform
VViceViceVictorVictorVictor
WWatchWilliamWilliamWilliamWhiskey
XX-rayX-rayX-rayX-rayX-ray
YYokeYokeYokeYokeYankee
ZZedZedZedZebraZulu


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