The Col Jerry "Robin" Sage Story
The SF training exercise for all SF warriors is the premier Unconventional Warfare exercise called “Robin Sage.” Robin was the name taken from the town of Robbins, North Carolina, which was a central area of operations for the Q course exercise and "Sage" from Army Colonel Jerry Sage. Sage was a World War II veteran and Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer who taught unconventional warfare tactics. OSS was the forerunner of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Green Berets.
Steve McQueen’s character in the film “The Great Escape” was based on Jerry Sage. Sage earned several nick-names during his colorful 30-year military career. He was the OSS man they called the “Dagger,” “Silent Death,” and after over 15 escapes from the Germans, the “Cooler King.” He was in solitary confinement 15 times in Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany, eventually escaping to Poland.
After the war, he became an instructor at West Point and attended the Army's Command and General Staff College. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he served in the Pentagon. Sage later deployed to Laos and trained with the Montagnards in the highlands. As a Colonel, Sage commanded the 10th Special Forces Group in Bad Toelz Germany. Col Sage often met with Col Aaron Bank and BG Yarborough in the early training of Special Forces. He went on to duty with the Third Army and worked with the Army ROTC programs and universities. He became Assistant to the President of the University of South Carolina. He later taught high school in the public school system, and won the 1979 “Teacher of the Year” award for the state of South Carolina. Sage retired in Enterprise, Alabama, and won 1991 Enterprise “Man of the Year.”
Colonel Jerry Sage represents everything that Special Forces, the Green Berets, and The Quiet Professionals are today. We, the members of SFA Chapter 17 are honored to carry his name forward.