NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Pre-Session Info

As part of the Initial Training Programme, each group should parade at the start and end of each lesson. A parade should consist of basic drill training to prepare YV’s for their passing out parade. Information and guidance on drill can be found here.


This resource guides you through Module 1, Unit 3 Initial Training Programme - Phonetic Alphabet.

Guidance: For those completing the PSYV Award, the quiz has some questions which are not directly covered in this session. As part of your planning, please review the Quiz Questions on Moodle and try to slip in references such as Tango and Foxtrot being dance routines etc. The quiz questions will guide you.


On completion PSYV's will:

  • Know the NATO phonetic alphabet


Group room or classroom


It is anticipated that you will require 1 hour to deliver this lesson. Please consider any time you require to plan/prepare by going over the lesson plan in advance.


Here is a great infographic of the Phonetic Alphabet by Visually (VOIP Broker).

Phonetic Alphabet Handout

Phonetic Alphabet Exercise

Activity 1: Phonetic Alphabet Game

Start by bringing everyone together in a circle. Give out the handout and follow these instructions:

The phonetic alphabet is used to clearly communicate by spelling words using special names for each letter. While a single letter may be misunderstood over a noisy radio or phone connection, the words are different from each other, and those who know the phonetic alphabet can communicate accurately. Ask the group briefly, what jobs do they know about that use the phonetic alphabet? The answer is most things that rely on oral communication such as call centres; pilots, emergency services etc.

To play the game: All the participants sit in a circle. Each one is assigned a letter of the alphabet. First, whoever has the letter A starts by saying ‘alpha to’ then the next letter of the alphabet, in this case ‘bravo’. The person with letter B then must say ‘bravo to charlie’ and so forth. Once every person has said their letter, then the fun starts... each person picks a random letter to go to. The person named must answer correctly, and pick another random letter. Anybody who makes a mistake is “out” and in the end, the last person left is the winner.

Activity 2: Phonetic Alphabet Challenge

For this activity adults will act as a series of talking signposts. Following the signposts will lead YV's to a goal. For example signpost one might spell out Romeo, Inda, Golf, Hotel, Tango 10 paces. The YV's then follow the instruction to meet the next talking signpost.

The YV's will work in pairs and take it in turns to follow the course. At the end you can have YV's find a box with another clue to decipher. Alternatively you can have instructions for a physical challenge like shoot 10 baskets (using phonetics of course!).

Activity 3: Learn the Phonetic Alphabet Song

Try learning this groovy song that makes the phonetic alphabet catch on.

PSYV Award Assessment


The assessment for this activity is a 5-question quiz which can be accessed on Moodle. Please advise youth volunteers on the following points:

  • The quiz is on Moodle under Module 1: Initial Training Programme / Phonetic Alphabet Quiz

  • They have 2 attempts to complete. After this their mentor needs to review their learning before allowing them to re-try.

YV's are required to get 4 out of 5 questions correct.

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