Best Practice for Radio Users

Clear, Efficient Communications

The Phonetic Alphabet

Topic Progress:

Once connected, it’s important to keep communications brief and clear. The phonetic alphabet was designed to allow clarity in communications when speaking over a radio or field phone. Due to vexing radio static or the tremendous background noise found in combat, early communicators found it difficult to distinguish between letters which may rhyme or sound similar, so the phonetic alphabet was established to avoid confusion between, say, a “B, E, or “D” when spelling or using letters of the alphabet.

The phonetic alphabet has evolved since its inception, and has now been standardized internationally. This alphabet has been sanctioned by the world’s major aviation and telecommunications organizations.

The letter A is pronounced Alpha
B is Bravo
C is Charlie
D is Delta
E is Echo

F is Foxtrot
G is Golf
H is Hotel
I is India
J is Juliett

K is Kilo
L is Lima
M is Mike
N is November
O is Oscar

P is Papa
Q is Quebec
R is Romeo
S is Sierra
T is Tango

U is Uniform
V is Victor
W is Whiskey
X is X-Ray
Y is Yankee
Z is Zulu

And that is the phonetic alphabet.