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What is the Military, Police or NATO Phonetic Alphabet?

Updated on December 1, 2017

Ever tried to figure out what they are talking about in movies and TV when they use words like Alpha and Romeo instead of letters to spell words out? They are using a Phonetic Alphabet. The military and police use this alphabet as not to confuse words. This helps since some letters tend to sound similar.

J can sound like K and M and N can be confused as well. Using the phonetic alphabet using Juliett instead of J removes the confusion of sounding like K. It is hard to confuse Mike and November for M and N. Try it when you are having to spell your name or email address over the phone.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

A
Alpha
B
Bravo
C
Charlie
D
Delta
E
Echo
F
Foxtrot
G
Golf
H
Hotel
I
India
J
Juliett
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

Now that you know the phonetic alphabet. Is this something that you will use? I know when I go to spell both my first and last names I need to use this alphabet as lots of the letters sounds the same, especially over the phone.

This alphabet is also used in aviation and in marine settings with communication between the planes and air traffic control and ships and shore. It keeps clarification easy.

Knowing this alphabet is useful for everyone, not just on TV, in the military or if you pilot a plane or ship.

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    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Could be useful in spelling names over the phone!