Condition White: Unaware and Unprepared

May 12, 2017

in Ethics, Manage Risk

A U.S. Marine named Jeff Cooper used a series of color coded conditions to describe mental states of awareness. He taught that the state of awareness, or “combat mindset” is the primary factor in determining survivability in crisis conditions and lethal confrontations.

  • CONDITION WHITE – unaware and unprepared
  • CONDITION YELLOW – relaxed with no specific threat
  • CONDITION ORANGE – a specific threat has been identified and is being focused on
  • CONDITION RED – in lethal fight mode

It’s a fairly safe assumption that most of the general population wanders around most of the time in CONDITION WHITE, unaware of most threats and unprepared to handle them. At times it may be advantageous to deliberately use CONDITION WHITE to relax and rehabilitate from stress. That can be accomplished using teamwork to compensate for the increased risk. Being in CONDITION WHITE constantly is not wise. Unfortunately, many who are in CONDITION WHITE are not even aware that they are unaware and unprepared.

Having too high a percentage of a group in CONDITION WHITE raises the risk level of the entire group and invites unethical users and predators to take advantage of the group or even directly attack the group. Criminals, bullies, and dictators seem to thrive on taking advantage of people in CONDITION WHITE, learning that they are mostly defenseless against their aggression.

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