Thursday, January 19, 2006

1800, 6:00, and Misconceptions

Here is another military misconception: people think that everyone in uniform regularly uses military time. While it is true that most can do the conversion from civilian time to military, there are many servicemembers who do not use it regularly.

There was a scheduling controversy during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. An American boxer missed his bout, or some such. The schedule was in four-digit military time. I remember the commentators saying that he and his coaches were in the military, so of course they did not misread the schedule.

Those athletes in the military who are Olympic caliber perform their duties at a special training facility in Colorado. While I am sure that they are highly disciplined, their precision in military time is probably less than, say, the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown.

Even people in the military can misread "1800 hours."

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