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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal


Robin Sage

Home > Training > SFQC > Robin Sage

The Army Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) culminates in an unconventional warfare exercise known as Robin Sage.  Robin Sage has been the concluding event of the Special Forces course for seveeral decades - beginning in 1974.  It is held in central North Carolina in the fictional country called "Pineland". Prior to 1974 the field exercise had other names. [1]

Robin Sage UW Exercise SFQC
Student in Robin Sage UW Exercise - a culminating event in the Special Forces
Qualification Course (SFQC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
(Photo credit: SGT Derek Kuhn, 40th Public Affairs Detachment, 22 Sep 2010).

The Robin Sage exercise is preceded with instruction on unconventional warfare.  The Special Forces students learn the components and nuances of unconventional warfare to include guerrila warfare, insurgency, sabotage and subversion. As a result of their knowledge of how to conduct unconventional warfare, operate in the "Gray Zone", and provide support to insurgents Special Forces Soldiers are ideally suited to be deployed to conflicts involving counterinsurgency.

The students begin the exercise with a mission planning phase that will last several days. The students are organized into 12-man operational detachments and assigned planning and living areas where they do their mission analysis, preparation, planning and coordination. This mission analysis is commonly referred to as "isolation".  They review their operations order and formulate their plans for infiltration into "Pineland", establishing contact with a resistance force, training the resistance force (or guerrillas, underground, and auxialiary), and the conduct of follow-on combat operations.

The exercise takes part over a large area of North Carolina and has the support of many of the local communities.  In fact, many civilians in the exercise area play the part of guerrillas, supporters, and leaders of the resistance. The exercise area sometimes includes as many as fifteen different counties in central North Carolina.

Websites, Publications and Documents about Robin Sage

"World's Foremost Unconventional Warfare Exercise Turns 35", Special Warfare Magazine, March - April 2009, Volume 22, Issue 2 (Adobe Acrobat pdf file). Accessed October 2011 on DVIDS publication website.

Robin Sage.  by GlobalSecurity.org

Robin Sage.  by Jed Babbin of National Review Online.  November 20, 2003.

"The Relevancy of Robin Sage", Special Warfare Magazine, Volume 29, Issue 2, July - December 2016, pages 30-37.

News Articles about Robin Sage

May 9, 2017. "Pineland Role Players Show Importance of Popular in UW", by Steve Balestrieri, Special Operations.com.

May 8, 2017. "Robin Sage, Prospective SF Students Should Study Up on Pineland", by Steve Balestrieri, Special Operations.com.

December 2016. "The Relevancy of Robin Sage", by Major Adam Woytowich, Special Warfare Magazine, pages 30 -37.

July 6, 2016. "Robin Sage - Unconventional Warfare Exercise", by John Friberg, SOFREP.com.

 October 22, 2011.  "Embedded in Robin Sage".  Richmond County Daily Journal.

October 12, 2011.  "Robin Sage returns".  The Laurinburg Exchange.

September 22, 2011.  "Soldiers weather Robin Sage for green berets".  Paraglide.

August 22, 2011.  "Pineland".  Real Combat Life.

July 22, 2011.  "Robin Sage Training Exercise Starts Sunday". The Pilot.

April 18, 2011.  "Robin Sage: Special Forces' Final Exam".  Fayetteville, NC Observer - posted on Military.com.

April 17, 2011.  "Robin Sage contractors may lose their jobs".  Fayetteville Observer.

December 2010.  "Robin Sage Liberates Pineland".  Military Training Technology.

October 14, 2010.  "U.S. forces to liberate Pineland during Robin Sage exercise".  The Dispatch.

July 30, 2010.  "Candidates strive to earn Green Beret during 'Robin Sage' exercise".  Army.mil.

July 4, 2009.  "Fake nation tests tomorrow's Special Forces".  USA Today.

2009.  "Local 'Pinelanders' featured in magazine".  Richmond County Daily Journal.

2009.  "Civilians can cash in on troop training".  Richmond County Daily Journal.

June 10, 2007.  "A few More Good Men".  U.S. News & World Report.

September 20, 2004.  "Summer Training 2004: Airborne School and Robin Sage". The John Hopkins University Gazette.

March 3, 2002.  "Special Forces take training efforts in 'Pineland' seriously".  Salisbury Post.

February 27, 2002. "Army's Reality Game Takes a Deadly Turn".  Los Angeles Times.

Videos about Robin Sage

November 8, 2015. "Becoming a Green Beret", 13 minute long video about Robin Sage by Alex Quade. www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSBGXY6GkZM

September 5, 2010.  "Special Warfare Traiing Group Conducts Robin Sage". Defense Talk.

September 1, 2010.  "Special Warfare Training Group Conducts Robin Sage".  YouTube (Military News Network).

November 12, 2009.  "Robin Sage".  You Tube (Army SF PAO).

December 2006.  "Special Forces Training: Robin Sage".  Military Times.


[1] Prior to Robin Sage there were other UW exercises as the culminating event for the Special Forces Qualification Course. These were named Gobbler Woods and Cherokee Trail.



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