Just in the past week I've seen several misguided references to weapons conditions codes and alertness colors. So just for future reference, here are the military definitions in reverse order (or the order of progression you would take your weapon through, out of the box/safe)
No magazine inserted, no round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, weapon on safe, hammer down.
Magazine inserted, no round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, weapon on safe, hammer down.
Condition 2: (does not apply to the M16 or M9 or many others)
For 1911 style actions only: Magazine inserted, round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, hammer down
Condition 1: (for all except 1911 style action)
Magazine inserted, round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, weapon on safe, hammer down.
For 1911 style action: Magazine inserted, round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, weapon on-safe, hammer cocked. Also referred to as "cocked and locked"
Condition 0: (not in current military usage, derived from LtCol Jeff Cooper's "modern method" for 1911)
Magazine inserted, round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, weapon OFF-safe, hammer cocked.
Most modern military personal only refer to conditions 4,3, &1.
4: No mag, completely empty, on safe. The most inert condition.
3: Magazine inserted, but still mostly inert. This is the stardard carry condition except when involved in direct combat.
1: Used to refer to any weapon with a round in the chamber. Typically only used when use is imminent. The safety is always on except when actually engaging targets. Marine Corps policy is to return the weapon to safe after engaging targets and before moving. This becomes automatic. Condition 2 does not apply to current issue weapons.
When most folks refer to Condition 1, they mean there's a round chambered, and if applicable, the weapon is on safe. This is not universal as there are many different models and action types to which some Conditions may or may not apply.
Please feel free to comment.
Combat Mindset/Situational Awareness Color Codes
(pasted from wikipedia, but this is spot on)
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. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to "Watch your six." (In aviation 12 o'clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft's nose. Six o'clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As LtCol. Jeff Cooper put it, "I might have to shoot."
ORANGE - Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has gotten 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 HIM today," focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that goblin does 'x', I will need to stop him." 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.
The USMC also uses "Condition Black" as actively engaged in combat.
Again, please feel free to comment.