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What is

WYOR - Abbreviated.png


WYOR is an acronym taking the first letter of each of the Color Codes of Situational Awareness (WHITE, YELLOW, ORANGE, and RED), as popularized by Colonel Jeff Cooper, the founder of the world-famous Gunsite Training Academy. Click here for a video of The Master himself giving a lecture about WYOR.

Situational awareness is taught principally to members of the military and law enforcement, but anyone - even children - can be taught how to use the color codes to help remain safe.

There are four levels of awareness or "conditions" and Col. Cooper assigned each one a color as an easy way to remember what they stand for and the personal actions associated with each in order to stay aware and safe.


Being in Condition WHITE is when you are totally unaware of your surroundings or environment, even though you are fully conscious. An example might be when people are engaged in walking in public or driving around, but are so totally absorbed in thought that they are unaware of what is going on around them. Criminals love people who are in WHITE. It makes it easier for them to make such people victims. All too often, if a person is in WHITE and becomes the victim of a mugging, assault, or some other personal attack, they are not able to provide police with any beneficial information about the suspect because the action against them was a total surprise and they were not aware of their surroundings.


Condition YELLOW is when you are aware and scanning the situation or your environment. You are deploying all of your senses and you are aware that possible threats can materialize at any time. For example, you exit a retail store to cross the parking lot to your vehicle. You hesitate a moment outside the door to look, listen, and scan the area for possible or potential threats before you step off towards your vehicle.


Condition ORANGE is when, through the process of scanning your environment in YELLOW, you become aware of a specific possible or potential threat. For example, as you exit the retail store and scan the area, you see someone standing next to your vehicle and he is carrying a tire iron in what you believe is a possible threatening manner. You are now alerted to a possible or potential threat or danger.


Condition RED is when you have confirmed the threat seen in Condition ORANGE. For example, the person with the tire iron is within striking distance and makes a threatening move towards you, holding the tire iron above his head in a manner that indicates he intends to strike you with it.

Now, you must react, putting into action your personal defense plan. Of course, there are a variety of possible responses to a materialized threat -- up to and including the deployment of your firearm due to immediate fear of serious bodily harm or death.

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