Military Phonetic Alphabets

Sometimes it is quite difficult to communicate using a regular language, especially when the weather is bad or there are bad signal conditions. In such conditions, a lot of words sound similar to each other, thus causing misunderstanding. The same is correct for a few letters, they are misunderstanding words when they are pronounced. They may really cause trouble if such words are spoken during a military operation etc. A single word can create big trouble.

To avoid such situations, US military uses Phonetic alphabets which are adopted by NATO. They are known as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (IRSA). These phonetic alphabets were developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in order to overcome the misunderstanding caused by certain words during communication.

These phonetic alphabets are used by the military to communicate for a lot of important military purposes. They communicate codes, shorthand and certain acronyms by using this IRSA code. For example if we say Tango Uniform that would be some sort of deceased individual or a broken piece of equipment. These kinds of the phrase may also come from other forms of communications such as the Naval saying "bravo zulu" which would mean "well done". Rather than just relating directly back to the first letters "bravo zulu" reference flags of the same designation from a maritime tactial signals publication.

List Of Phonetic Alphabets:

phonetic alphabets

Police Phonetic Alphabets

Police phonetic alphabets are developed for radio users for better pronunciation and to make sure that they are heard more smoothly regardless of the signal quality. The police alphabets, unique to American officers is more short and brief than the military code and useful for communication information like names and license plates clearly over the radio.

The police phonetic alphabets are older than the NATO alphabets. And they are still used even after the development of the NATO alphabets. In fact, the police alphabets are even shorter and brief than the military counterpart.

For example, officers save the extra syllables when they say:

Frank instead of Foxtrot Ida instead of India Nora instead of November Queen instead of Quebec

British and USA Phonetic Alphabets

Also called the Allied Military phonetic spelling alphabets, words that are used to represent each letter of the alphabet, when spelling the words out loud, letter-by-letter and how the spelling words should be pronounced. They are not actually phonetic alphabets in the sense in which that term is used in phonetics. In short, they are not a system for transcribing speech sounds.

These words were created during World War I and then evolved separately in the United States and the United Kingdom. The alphabets used in both countries were then merged during World War II. Its development further led to the development of NATO phonetic Alphabets.

The Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabets

The Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet is a radio alphabet that was created in 1941 during the World War II and was used by all the branches of United States Armed Forces until ICAO spelling alphabets were introduced. It was replaced by ICAO in 19565. Before the Joint Army/Navy phonetic alphabets, each armed forces of the  United States used its own radio alphabets, leading to complications in interbranch communication.

It was used by the US army in rather modified form, along with the British and Canadian Army from 1943 on, with Sugar replacing Sail.

The Joint Army/Navy phonetic alphabet was used as storm names for Atlantic basin hurricanes from 1947 to  1952.

The vestiges of this system remained in the use by the US Navy in the form of conditions related to Material Readiness, which was used in damage control. Dog, William, X-Ray, Yoke, and Zebra, these all referred to designations of fittings, hatches or doors.

The names Able to Fox were widely used in the early days of hexadecimal digital encoding of text in speaking of the hexadecimal digits equivalent to decimal 10 to 15, though the written was simply the Capital letter from A to F.

Army and Navy phonetic alphabet

U.S Navy phonetics Table

Army and Navy phonetic alphabet