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What is Defcon? – General Alert, Additional Notes, and More
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What is Defcon? – General Alert, Additional Notes, and More


DEFCON is a five-level measurement that indicates the United States Army’s level of alertness and readiness in anticipation.

However, DEFCON derives from “Defense Readiness Condition,” that is, something like Defense Readiness Condition, as I said, a five-level scale that progressively decreases as things get tense. The US military prepares to take action. It is also an excellent method to know the seriousness of a situation or how serious the US military evaluates it.


  1. These defense conditions describe progressive states of alert and availability activating by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of the armed forces. DEFCON levels are adjusting according to the severity of the military situation.
  2. In peacetime, DEFCON 5 is activating, which decreases as the situation becomes more critical. DEFCON 1 represents the anticipation of an imminent attack, and it has never been reaching.
  3. During the emergency state, seven alert levels calling LERTCON can be activating. The seven LERTCON correspond to 5 Defense States, calling DEFCON, and two other emergencies, calling EMERGCON.
  4. LERTCON is using by allied forces assigning to NATO and the United States. There are specific procedures in place for responding to changes in LERTCON. However, LERTCON has levels divided into Emergency Condition Maximum Alert levels (EMERGCONs) and the more common Defense Condition levels (DEFCON).
  5. EMERGCON (state of emergency) is a state of preparedness that is separate from DEFCON, or defense condition provision used by the United States because it incorporates civilian measures in addition to military DEFCON measures.
  6. Returning to the topic of DEFCON, we must say that its states are incremental phases on defense preparation:


  • Refers to the normal situation in peacetime. The Joint Chiefs of Staff is in charge of executing the raising of the US alert level. The level can be increasing to DEFCON levels 4, 3, 2, or 1.


  • It refers to how the intelligence services’ activity is slightly increasing, and National Security measures are tightening. This level was upholding for most of the Cold War.


  • Implies an increase in the availability of forces above normally. Radio Callsign using by the Armed Forcing is passing as security. The US military reaching this alert level in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis (except for the Strategic Air Command, which ran DEFCON 2).
  • All of the US armed forces went to DEFCON 3 during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when the Soviet Union threatened to intervene in favor of Egypt. The third time this level was attainments was during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.


  • It is assigning when the level immediately below the maximum is reaching. However, it has only been declaring twice in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the initial phase of Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War. It would be the previous step for a nuclear war.


  • It is the highest alert level. It has never been using. However, it is reserving to be activating in the face of an imminent attack against the US armed forces or its territory by a large foreign military force. And also, it authorizes the use of weapons of mass destruction. However, it was trusting that, at the time of the Cold War, a Russian attack on the same United States territory, not only with bombs but also with infantry, was possible.


  1. Def 5 is not necessarily a sign that the world is at peace; At this level, there could be conflicts, some of the more significant, in other parts of the world. However, in this case, military judges do not pose a substantial threat to national security.
  2. Different def levels may be allocating to other branches of the military. For example, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which is generally considered one of the tensest times in US military history. The Strategic Air Command remained in DEFCON 2. In contrast, the rest of the armed forces remained in DEFCON. 3.
  3. In the modern world, a def 4 is occasionally supposing to be issuing after minor to moderate terrorist attacks, politically motivating assassinations, or when a potential conspiracy is discovering. Presumably, this is doing in anticipation of further violence, as an attempt to prepare for and prevent it.
  4. In the course of history, a def 3 was generally enacting in situations in which there were apparent possibilities of military action against the United States or its allies. For example, during Operation Paul Bunyan, which resulting in a DEFCON 3. Two US officers were killing by North Korean forces in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (ZDC).
  5. In this case, def3 was stating due to the possibility that any error in the resistance could trigger an open war along the Korean border. Which was as politically and militarily tense an area as it is today.
  6. Although, as noticing above, def levels are generally reserving classifying until after the fact. It believes that a DEFCON 1 has never been declaring for any United States military branch.

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