Cooper’s Color Codes: The Simple Mental System That Can Keep You Alive

By Eve Flanigan

Cooper's Color Codes: The Simple Mental System That Can Keep You Alive

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USMC Lt. Col. John Dean “Jeff” Cooper (1920-2006), founder of Gunsite Academy, contributed much to the evolution of American handgun and rifle training, for both hunting and defense applications.

Cooper embraced the concept of defensive living and had the ability to distill theory into useful instruction. He is credited with pioneering a number of advances — the scout rifle concept and the .40 caliber cartridge being two of them. These were visionary concepts, but ones already taking their place in history. As we proceed through the millennium without him, it seems that it will be Cooper’s philosophical contributions, more than the physical ones, that will endure far beyond his lifetime.

One such contribution was his translation of levels of awareness into easy-to-remember color codes. These color codes, and their corresponding “conditions,” are guidance for a life of relatively easy preparedness for self-defense. The color codes are a guide to both thought and behavior, and are intended for use by individuals.

Those who traveled by air in the couple of years following the events of Sept, 11, 2001 may remember color codes being announced over airport PA systems. As the nascent Department of Homeland Security discovered, the color code system isn’t made for the masses. It’s for you to apply to your own circumstances.

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Let’s examine the Cooper Color Codes:

Condition White: Being in white is to be unaware and unprepared. Look around you during the day. Do you see people absorbed in their phones as they stand in line at the store? A coworker who is startled by the presence of someone standing by their desk? These are examples of Condition White. If you’re in White when someone decides to make you or your location the target of a crime, it’s less Click to see the original article