You may have heard a Sailor or Soldier spell a word to someone over the radio or on the phone in a funny code. It may have sounded like she or he was transmitting a highly classified message, when they were merely speaking in the military's alphabet. We cannot give away any encrypted codes, but you can learn this alphabet to create your own secret messages.
The Navy and other services use the same 26-letter alphabet that we use everyday, but they substitute a word for each letter. You might pronounce the letter "a" when spelling the word a-n-t. A Sailor uses words in place of each letter, making a-n-t into alpha november tango.
The Navy also uses flags to symbolize letters. These signal flags are flown on the open deck of a ship or boat. Flags allow ships to quickly communicate with other vessels without picking up a radio or sending an e-mail. Special combinations of flags translate into phrases or warnings, such as "submarine attack!"