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L'Alphabet Militaire c'est quoi ?

Military Alphabet: how to understand it?

WHAT IS THE MILITARY ALPHABET?

If you have seen military films, documentaries or series, you have probably heard of the famous Alpha , Charlie , Bravo or Foxtrot . It also appears in some war games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty.

But what can they correspond to? These names probably don't mean anything to you, unless you're a soldier or have already learned a little about the subject.

International communication with the NATO military alphabet

These names correspond to the language that the military uses to improve communication and exchanges . Often, it is to make them easier and more fluid , we can compare it to a kind of military term . The armies of all nations of the world use them to make their operations more efficient and rapid . It is called phonetic alphabet.

THE MILITARY ALPHABET: WHAT IS USEFUL ?

As explained above, the military alphabet is intended to improve communication between teams . Indeed, the military needs to send and receive clear and perfectly understandable messages. On a mission , it is not often possible to request information several times . Time is the ally of soldiers and this kind of error slowing down the team can be fatal.

How it works ? Simply replace each letter with certain words, this is called an acronym . Each name is associated with a letter of the alphabet. It's a fairly easy system to decode, it's like Morse code but more advanced, even if it remains one of the most effective.

You will have understood, someone who is mute will not be able to use this phonetic system.

Communication with the military alphabet

A concrete example: the word "dog" could be sent as "Célestine-Henri-Irma-Eugène-Nicolas". Obviously, these names all refer to first names , and it may seem more complicated to say that it simply means the word "dog." However, needs on the ground vary considerably.

But other noises can also be confused with each other. This applies, for example, to 'd' and 't' or 'm' and 'n'. By replacing letters with names, you can't go wrong. So, the letter "a" is identified by the name "Anatol". Additionally, multiple code words can be combined to form another word , to avoid spelling it out.

Here are three basic principles for conveying a good military message:

  • Accuracy: do not send unclear or inaccurate messages. As a soldier, you must deliver the exact message you want. Just a little hint, if you're not sure about everything, stick to the basics. Forget phonetic proximity.
  • Conciseness: information that is too long is a no-go. Otherwise, there is a risk that the interlocutor will not understand everything correctly. Multiple transmissions should not exceed 30 seconds.
  • Clarity : Soldiers must speak clearly with a strong accent and good intonation when pronouncing sounds. Therefore, avoid talking under your breath or transcribing outside the means of communication available to you.

THE BIRTH OF A NEW LANGUAGE: THE MILITARY ALPHABET

The first recognized phonetic alphabet was introduced in 1927. However, the first signs of military alphabets appeared before World War II through early radio and telephone communications.

In order to standardize all communications throughout the army, the United States introduced a mobile telephone alphabet in 1941, a common alphabet between land and navy.

Military Alphabet during the Second World War

Many other countries have since adopted their own versions to honor the details of each alphabet . For example, Italian only has 21 letters. The remaining 5 characters, which are not present, are only present in loanwords. It therefore seems logical that the Italian military alphabet contains 21 letters. The German alphabet is identical to the French alphabet.

All armed states have their own phonetic transcription for communications. In fact, words and linguistic elements differ from one language to another . In addition, these types of alphabet are not only limited to the military, civil aviation also uses an international radio alphabet . In aeronautics, there is no room for error, you must have complete radio control.

Good to know: The Royal Air Force of the British Army uses an alphabet very similar to the American alphabet.

THE FRENCH MILITARY ALPHABET

French Military Alphabet

Armies around the world have their own alphabets and France is no exception . The phonetic alphabet below is specific to the French army. Note that this is not used by the Police or the National Gendarmerie. Therefore, it contains as many names as characters, i.e. 26 .

HAS

Anatole

B

Bertha

VS

Celestine

D

Longed for

E

Eugene

F

Francis

G

Gaston

H

Henry

I

Irma

J

Joseph

K

Kleber

L

Louis

M

Marcel

NOT

Nicholas

O

Oscar

P

Rock

Q

Quintal

R

Raoul

S

Suzanne

T

Therese

U

Ursula

V

Victor

W

William

X

Xavier

Y

Yvonne

Z

Zoe

THE NATO MILITARY ALPHABET

In two words NATO: "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" , this organization has For objective to ensure the collective security of residents and signatory countries .

Atlanticism - Wikipedia
- source: Wikipedia
 
After extensive research and hundreds of thousands of tests , engineers from 31 countries adopted the code in the 1950s and has been in effect since March 1, 1956 . The official spelling table was created by the Geneva Conventions of 1959 .

THE LETTERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET

This alphabet is also the only alphabet recognized internationally by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU ) .
International NATO Military Alphabet

EASY TO PRONOUNCE: THE INTERNATIONAL ALPHABET

Each English word in this alphabet has its own pronunciation , we can notice accents, this compensates for the phonology of each country. A German soldier will potentially have more joint pain than a Spanish soldier. Linguistics plays a big part in this. ex: delta code

Letter Coded Pronunciation
HAS alpha alpha
B well done well done
VS Charlie Charlie
D delta delta
E echo ékô
F foxtrot foxtrotte
G golf golf
H hotel hotel
I India inedia
J juliett djouliette
K kilo kilo
L lime lime
M mike maike
NOT November November
O Oscar Oscar
P dad dad
Q quebec kebec
R romeo Romeo
S sierra siera
T tango tango
U uniform younifomm
V Victor vikta
W whiskey yesski
X X-ray èksrèï
Y Yankee yangki
Z zulu Zulu

The NATO phonetic alphabet also contains numerical codes:

0

Zero

1

One

2

two

3

Three ('tree')

4

Four ('fower')

5

Five ('fife')

6

Six

7

Seven

8

Eight

9

Nine ('Niner')

10

Decimal

100

Hundred

1000

Thousand

Discover our article onmilitary ranks in France !

IN CONCLUSION

The military phonetic alphabet based on the alphabetic system is standardized in all the languages ​​of the world , it is a real innovation of the 20th century , it is extremely useful in many circumstances. It concerns both the military and the organization of international civil aviation like an airline.

It therefore remains one of the best ways for the military, in the right conditions, to transmit a very precise message , on the ground for example. You now know the essentials about this unique alphabet , don't hesitate to take a look at our complete military surplus store.

The disadvantage of the military alphabet is that it can seem complex to people who are unfamiliar with it. Memorizing the words for each letter of the alphabet can be time-consuming and confusing, especially in stressful situations.

Here is a demonstration in the field:

Our answers to all your questions about the Military Alphabet

How to join the French Armed Forces? How to join the French Army?

Do you want to join the French Armed Forces to learn and use the military phonetic alphabet ? Good choice ! To join the French Army, the conditions depend on the type of army (national navy, army, air force or national guard) and the position targeted. So, find out more and make an appointment with a French Army recruiter to discuss the terms and submit an application for registration with the French Armed Forces . The rest will be explained to you during the French Army recruitment meeting!

Discover our article onengagement in the French Army . If you are interested in the habits of soldiers in the French Army, also discover the different military ranks or even the military haircut !

What is the current military communications code (in 2023) used by the French Army?

The military communication code used by the French Armed Forces is the military phonetic alphabet as we have presented it. It is characterized by the use of French first names to replace letters. Each of the Armed Forces of the world uses this phonetic alphabet .

What other communications codes are used by the Armed Forces and NATO around the world?

The Armed Forces and NATO use the same type of military communication code , the phonetic alphabet. The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called Oscar Tango Mike or Alpha Bravo Charlie .

What is the military code?

The military code is officially called the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet . This military phonetic alphabet is used by the Armed Forces to communicate on the radio and by telephone. It appeared at the same time as radio to prevent communicators from misunderstanding the words and letters communicated by the Armed Forces.

Why was a military communications code implemented in the Armed Forces?

Quite simply because it is easy to confuse certain letters like b/p, d/t or even m/n. Thus, to facilitate understanding, communication and avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations during radio communication, the Armed Forces of the world and NATO have designed this international phonetic alphabet .

Do the Armed Forces use International Morse Code to communicate?

Indeed, the international Morse Code is regularly used by the Armed Forces. In certain circumstances, radiotelegraphy is easier to understand than radiotelephony. Furthermore, the luminous Morse Code , called Scott, is also used by the Armed Forces at sea such as the National Navy .

Do the police use the NATO military phonetic alphabet?

Indeed, the police also use the NATO military phonetic alphabet ! More comprehensively, the Alpha Bravo Charlie phonetic alphabet is used by NATO, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and emergency services that use radio: police, firefighters, civil protection , White Cross rescuers, radio amateurs, the Armed Forces…

How long has radio been used by the Army?

It was Gustave Ferrié, researcher and engineer, who created military radiotelegraphy by installing antennas at the Eiffel Tower in 1904. The French Army has used radiotelegraphy and radiotelephony since their creation. During World War II, radio held immense power for the Armed Forces.
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Comments

Jules - September 6, 2023

Merci pour cet article de qualité, je vais m’y référer pour rentrer dans l’armée

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