Do You Know Your Alfa-Bravo-Charlies?

  • Publish date: Friday، 26 October 2018 Last update: Thursday، 25 February 2021
Do You Know Your Alfa-Bravo-Charlies?

The NATO phonetic alphabet is a Spelling Alphabet, a set of words used instead of letters in oral communication (i.e. over the phone or military radio). Each word ("code word") stands for its initial letter (alphabetical "symbol"). The 26 code words in the NATO phonetic alphabet are assigned to the 26 letters of the English alphabet in alphabetical order as follows:

Symbol Code Word Morse 
A Alfa/Alpha ● ▬ AL FAH
B Bravo ▬ ● ● ● BRAH VOH
C Charlie ▬ ● ▬ ● CHAR LEE
D Delta ▬ ● ● DELL TAH
E Echo .● ECK OH
F Foxtrot ● ● ▬ ● FOKS TROT
G Golf ▬ ▬ ● GOLF
H Hotel ● ● ● ● HOH TELL
I India ● ● IN DEE AH
J Juliett ● ▬ ▬ ▬ JEW LEE ETT
K Kilo ▬ ● ▬ KEY LOH
L Lima ● ▬ ● ● LEE MAH
M Mike ▬ ▬ MIKE
N November ▬ ● NO VEMBER
O Oscar ▬ ▬ ▬ OSS CAH
P Papa ● ▬ ▬ ● PAH PAH
Q Quebec ▬ ▬ ● ▬ KEH BECK
R Romeo ● ▬ ● ROW ME OH
S Sierra ● ● ● SEE AIRRAH
U Uniform ● ● ▬ YOU NEE FORM
V Victor ● ● ● ▬ VIK TAH
W Whiskey ● ▬ ▬ WISS KEY
X X-ray ▬ ● ● ▬ ECKS RAY
Y Yankee ▬ ▬ ● ● YANG KEY
Z Zulu ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ZOO LOO


  • The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Phonetic Alphabet is currently officially denoted as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (IRSA) or the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) phonetic alphabet or ITU (International Telecommunication Union) phonetic alphabet. Thus this alphabet can be reffered as the ICAO/ITU/NATO Phonetic Alphabet or International Phonetic Alphabet..
  • This alphabet is used by the U.S. military and has also been adopted by the FAA (American Federal Aviation Administration)ANSI (American National Standards Institute), and ARRL (American Radio Relay League).
  • Contrary to what its name suggests, the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is not a phonetic alphabet. Phonetic alphabets are used to indicate, through symbols or codes, what a speech sound or letter sounds like. The NATO Phonetic Alphabet is instead a spelling alphabet (also known as telephone alphabet, radio alphabetword-spelling alphabet, or voice procedure alphabet).
  • Spelling alphabets, such as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, consists of a set of words used to stand for alphabetical letters in oral communication. These are used to avoid misunderstanding due to difficult to spell words, different pronunciations or poor line communication.
  • A typical use of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet would be to spell out each letter in a word over the phone by saying, for example: "S as in Sierra" (or "S for Sierra"), "E as in Echo, Y as in Yankee, F as in Foxtrot, R as in Romeo, I as in India, E as in Echo, D as in Delta" to communicate the spelling of the name "Seyfried" correctly.
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