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Which Condition are you in?

  • White - Unaware and Unprepared

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Yellow - Relaxed Alert

    Votes: 49 77.8%
  • Orange - Specific Alert

    Votes: 10 15.9%
  • Red - Fight

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Black - Catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance - USMC addition

    Votes: 2 3.2%
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See you in my Scope
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Cooper color code has been around for a while. It is taught in many CCW classes.


  • White - Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."
  • Yellow - Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself". You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that "I may have to shoot today". You don't have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow.
  • Orange - Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to "I may have to shoot that person today", focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that person does "X", I will need to stop them". Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.
  • Red - Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. "If "X" happens I will shoot that person".
  • Black - Catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance. - USMC Addition to the Cooper Color Code
This mindset was developed for shooting scenarios but easily carries over to prepping and survival.

Another thing useful about this code system is when getting status updates from your counterparts. They can tell you their status in one word. "We are Orange here" would tell you right away that they have a specific threat they are monitoring and so on.
 

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Banned
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647 Posts
This system was widely used in Iraq and in other incursions. Mostly during briefs or code for when we were going to do something or after doing something, depended on the area or what was going on at the time. Sometimes we just yelled a color, usually it was something like RED REDDDD
 

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725 Posts
Thanks for the additional information, CS. Always good to have codes to not only convey secure information but also save time and commo energy. This will go in my Commo folder, too. YELLOW

GP
 

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I stay in yellow most of the time, including now, when I'm on the computer. I reserve white for when I'm sleeping. Orange and red can't be maintained for very long without massive fatigue.
 

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Gone Galt
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Yellow but I flip to Orange pretty often on most days...usually with proximity to people and magnified by locations like inside rooms, crowded places etc etc


...and yes, it's does take a lot of mental effort
 

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I stay in yellow most of the time, including now, when I'm on the computer. I reserve white for when I'm sleeping. Orange and red can't be maintained for very long without massive fatigue.
same with me. I think mine changes every day. Some times Im walking down the drive alert and ready to open up. Most times I am just aware of my surroundings. Kingfish
 

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LOL, Rice Paddy Daddy, lots of us have that ol' problem/symptom. I have a very exaggerated startle response, and hear complaints (ex-wife, girl-friend, Step-son) that my head and eyes are always moving, never still. I wake at the least little sound, not groggy, fully awake and listening. At night, I know when someone gets up to go to bathroom or smoke, get a drink, etc. Immediately awake. People who know me wake me from across the room, they do not touch me. People who know me do not walk up behind me and touch me unexpectedly, very dangerous. PTSD??? I don't think so, maybe so. Works for me though. Condition Yellow AT ALL TIMES. Worked for me on the street several times, too. Must have sensed something, beat the bad guy to the draw (and he was a threat).
 

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Garbage Collector
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11,363 Posts
Red or black, I am always prepared for a fight and never afraid to take care of business even if it means getting hurt.

Something about spending several tours in the sandbox that changes how you view other humans- either as a friend or potential target.

Haji couldn't kill me although they tried a lot, damned sure not going to let some idiot here in the States do it.
 

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Old Soldier
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5,072 Posts
People who know me wake me from across the room, they do not touch me. People who know me do not walk up behind me and touch me unexpectedly, very dangerous.
My wife hasn't slept in the same room with me for 16 years. Because of "the dreams."
But when you get to be my age, it don't really matter anyway.:)
 

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Proud Conservative
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494 Posts
The true Cooper code does not include black and he was highly against it being added until the day he died, which I have to agree with being a Cooper follower for years. Sometimes "Black" happens during red and he tried to stress that point. But who am I to question the USMC, they probably have their reasons for adding it, but it takes away from its original concept.

Rant over....

I am always in at least yellow, unless I am sleeping...then...well white is in.
 

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My wife of 29 years, will tell you that I'm such a light sleeper that opening the door on the other end of the house can wake me.I think I have almost evolved into a "DOG" like alertness.I'm a sleep but am still aware of the sounds around me and what they are.
But for the most part a stay in a state of Yellow.You will burn out your adrenalin glands if you stay in the higher color status for long periods. Or else you will become a Adrenalin "Junky" and will never get enough and do stupid stuff just to get your fix.


No White Flags Above My Door
Daveeds
 
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