Naming our cohorts

Naming our Cohorts and the Military Alphabet

One of the most common questions we get asked at Code Platoon is how we name each of our 14-week cohorts. The answer is pretty simple. We call each group in sequence to match the military phonetic alphabet. Our first cohort was named Alpha Platoon, and our next session, beginning in October, will be Mike Platoon with November Platoon to follow in February 2020.

So the more significant question must be—how did the military alphabet come into existence?

The military phonetic alphabet uses 26 code words to represent each letter of the alphabet. The Military Phonetic Alphabet’s functionality is a communication tool for military and civilian people alike, most often used to detail error-free spelling.

British and American armed forces each developed and used their own, different phonetic alphabets. British troops adopted the Royal Air Force’s phonetic alphabet, similar to the phonetic alphabet used by the Royal Navy in World War I.

Initially, the U.S. had separate phonetic alphabets for the Army and Navy. The U.S. adopted the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet from 1941 to standardize all branches of its armed forces. The U.S. alphabet became known as Able Baker after its words for A and B.

The U.S. and British forces then adopted the universal NATO phonetic alphabet in 1956. That phonetic alphabet remains in use today and is used worldwide by the military, air traffic controllers, and other industries.

So what will happen when Code Platoon completes 26 cohorts and exhausts the use of a single letter designation for each platoon? We will go to designations utilizing two letters from the military alphabet – Alpha Alpha, Alpha Beta, Alpha Charlie, etc.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Jim Hennessey is Code Platoon’s Director of Marketing. Jim brings a strong background in no-profit marketing and start-up enterprises to the mission of Code Platoon. Jim is a graduate of Clemson University and currently lives in Chicago. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.

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