Military Phonetic Alphabet

The Army, as well as all other branches of the US armed services, currently use the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) alphabet for radio communication. This alphabet was adopted by the US armed services in 1956, and is currently used by NATO countries as well as civil aviation around the world.

The chart below shows both the code words for each letter and their recommended pronunciation.

ICAO Phonetic Alphabet
Letter Code Word Pronunciation
A Alfa AL fah
B Bravo BRAH voh
C Charlie CHAR lee
D Delta DEL tah
E Echo EKK oh
F Foxtrot FOKS trot
G Golf Golf
H Hotel HO tell
I India IN dee ah
J Juliet JEW lee ett
K Kilo KEY loh
L Lima LEE mah
M Mike Mike
N November NOH vem ber
O Oscar OSS car
P Papa PAH pah
Q Quebec keh BECK
R Romeo ROW me oh
S Sierra see AIR ah
T Tango TANG go
U Uniform YOU nee form
V Victor VIK ter
W Whiskey WISS key
X X-ray EKS ray
Y Yankee YANG kee
Z Zulu ZOO loo

During World War 2, the US developed one phonetic alphabet for use by both the Army and Navy to simply inter-branch communication. This Army/Navy Alphabet was used until 1956, when it was replaced by the ICAO/NATO alphabet and although outdated, is still used by many who were in the US military at that time.

Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet (1941-1956)
Letter Code Word Pronunciation
A Able AY buhl
B Baker BAY ker
C Charlie CHAR lee
D Dog Dawg
E Easy EE zee
F Fox Foks
G George Jorje
H How How
I Item EYE tem
J Jig Jig
K King King
L Love Love
M Mike Mike
N Nan Nan
O Oboe OH boh
P Peter PEE ter
Q Queen Kween
R Roger RAH jer
S Sugar Shugar
T Tare Tair
U Uncle UHN kuhl
V Victor VIK ter
W William WILL yam
X X-ray EKS ray
Y Yoke Yoke
Z Zebra ZEE brah

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