Military Alphabet Chart: NATO & Western Union Standards

Also called a spelling alphabet or a phonetic alphabet, (not to be confused with the entirely different International Phonetic Alphabet,) this is a system of assigning to each letter of the alphabet a word that begins with that letter. This way, if something has to be spelled over a radio, telephone, etc. there is much less chance of the wrong information being transmitted.

The military, police departments and radio operators all make frequent use of this. Phone-based customer service and technical support also use it, but with more informal construction (any word will do), for the same reasons. (The formal ones specifically pick words themselves which all sound distinct from all the others with poor sound quality.) The most common alphabets are shown below, from A to Z.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Letterphonetic letter
AAlpha
BBravo
CCharlie
DDelta
EEcho
FFoxtrot
GGolf
HHotel
IIndia
JJuliet
KKilo
LLima
MMike
NNovember
OOscar
PPapa
QQuebec
RRomeo
SSierra
TTango
UUniform
VVictor
WWhiskey
XX-ray
YYankee
ZZulu

Western Union Phonetic Alphabet

Letterphonetic letter
AAdams
BBoston
CChicago
DDenver
EEasy
FFrank
GGeorge
HHenry
IIda
JJohn
KKing
LLincoln
MMary
NNew York
OOcean
PPeter
QQueen
RRoger
SSugar
TThomas
UUnion
VVictor
WWilliam
XX-ray
YYoung
ZZero