The military utilizes a variety of abbreviations and slang terms that are specific to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Military jargon creates a unique culture within the Armed Forces that enables service members to communicate more information in fewer words.
Spend much time around a military base or service member and you’ll hear the term “click”.
What is a click?
In short, a military click is slang for a kilometer.
It’s vital that you learn the metric system because it’s the primary measuring system of the U.S. Armed Forces along with the rest of the world.
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Use our click calculator below to quickly and easily calculate how many miles, meters, and feet are in a click:
1. Origin of the Word ‘Click’
The U.S. Armed Forces rely on military jargon to quickly communicate ideas and concepts between service members.
One prime example is the word “click”, or “klick” depending on the military circle.
In the military, a click (or its multiple spelling variations) is simply a kilometer.
Furthermore, a “click” is a reference that you’ll hear soldiers making when sighting-in a weapon.
The U.S. Armed Forces have relied on the metric systems ever since World War I.
During WWI, U.S. and United Kingdom soldiers found it easier transitioning to the metric system in order to read maps that were created by the French.
Thus, the term kilometer became common with everyday U.S. military lexicon and is generally shortened today to “click” or “klick”.
In some circles, you may even find the term spelled “klik” or “clic”.
Regardless, the slang refers to one kilometer and is part of the terminology used in the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS).
MGRS is the official mapping system of NATO and may pinpoint any location on earth to the nearest meter.
Today, the United States uses the term “klick” and the MGRS mapping system along with the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
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2. How Far Is A Click?
The military has a variety of slang terms that are everyday language in the U.S. Armed Forces.
How far is a click?
1 Click = 1 Kilometer
A kilometer is equal to 0.621371 miles.
The Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) uses clicks to measure walking distance.
Thus, ground forces usually communicate with each other in terms of “clicks”.
For example, a soldier may inform another unit that they are “10 klicks west of your position”.
The other soldier receiving this information would quickly be able to decipher that the original unit is 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) west of their current position.
Additionally, a “click” is used as a reference when service members adjust a weapon.
How far is a click in this example?
1 Click = 1 Minute of Arc or 1 inch at 100 yards away
In other words, adjusting the sights of a weapon by one “click” will alter the impact of the bullet by 1 inch for a target that is 100 yards away.
Therefore, the same weapon would need to get adjusted 2 inches for a target 200 yards out and so forth.
Quick Conversions Table
How far is a click?
You can easily convert klicks into kilometers, miles, meters, and feet.
Here is a quick conversions table:
- 1 Click = 1 Kilometer
- 1 Click = 0.621371 Miles
- Click = 1,000 Meters
- Click = 3,280.84 Feet
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3. How Fast Is A Click?
The military uses a “click” to determine walking or traveling distance.
While it is measured in terms of kilometers, you can also get an idea of how fast a click is based on general travel speeds.
For example, we know that 1 kilometer is the equivalent of 0.621371 Miles.
…And the average walking speed for a human is 3-4 miles per hour (MPH).
Thus, it takes an average adult approximately 15-20 minutes to walk a mile (or 6/10 of a kilometer).
So, in that scenario, it would take a soldier approximately an hour to walk 6.4 kilometers (4 miles) at an average pace.
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The U.S. Armed Forces, unlike the rest of the country, relies on the metric system.
The military made this conversion during WWI in order to more effectively navigate maps that were created by the French.
Today, the term “click” or “klick” references a kilometer in walking distance.
Additionally, it can serve as a reference point when soldiers sight-in their weapons.
It is important that you learn the basics of the metric system before enlistment to get an edge in terms of land navigation.