Every once in awhile, you see something that takes you straight back in time. When I ran across American Marauders Pineland collection, it took me right back to my first SF mission. After Pineland, things were never the same. It seems like only yesterday that I stood beside the legendary Dougal Canteeth and swore to free my brothers in occupied Pineland.

The fear of an enemy occupied America has been around since 1812. Movies like “Red Dawn” (both the new one and the good one) give perspective on how the American people would react. In my favorite scene in  the original version, Radio Free America tells the resistance that “Green Berets will be coming in the spring”.   All real Green Berets have lived this scenario year round in Exercise Robin Sage.

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Pineland Resistance Forces Flag

Pineland is a fictional country located in North Carolina. Several times a year, the freedom loving Republic of Pineland is invaded by the pernicious Atlanticans in the north.  Atlantica supports their puppet state, the illegitimate People’s Republic of Pineland in the province of North Pineland.  Since 1952, the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center  and its predecessors have sent Special Forces, Psyops and Civil Affairs soldiers to wage unconventional warfare supporting guerrillas in the bloody hills of Pineland.

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Flag of Atlantica

As their graduation exercise, Special Forces candidates are organized into A teams and infiltrated into Pineland by parachute, vehicle, helicopter, and foot to link up with their gallant allies. Their mission is to advise and assist resistance forces behind the lines in occupied Pineland.   In a bizarre open air community theater, soldiers are smuggled in pick up trucks, sleep in barns, engage in firefights in neighborhoods, and are sometime betrayed to the occupying forces. Generations of local residents have fought with and supported the resistance forces. Some support Atlantica and their puppet, the Peoples Republic of Pineland.   It can be quite confusing. Sometimes, a few thousand Don changing hands can shift a player one way of the other.

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Pineland currency known as Don

In this episode of “Robin Sage: the Reality Show” the combat experienced Guerrilla chief (usually a retired SF team sergeant) has captured a downed enemy pilot.  The Green Beret candidates assigned to support this resistance cell are charged with  preventing war crimes and following their rules of engagement. We join the action as the SF team medics treat the pilot’s wounds and the G-chief decides to execute him.  The Green Beret team leader and team sergeant advocate protecting the prisoner. Both of them are painfully aware that to lose rapport or permit a war crime is to fail the mission.  Let’s see what happens:

This is all nostalgic Green Beret ‘inside baseball” stuff. The Green Berets (officially know as US Army Special Forces) are the only military unit in the world with the primary mission of entering denied areas to train equip and organize indigenous forces. It was a good idea in 1952. Today, it is our best hope in an uncertain radicalized world.   Robin Sage is crucial training event that makes Green Berets different.   God bless Pineland.

You can get your Pineland swag here.  The Peoples Pond Lifeguard and Resistance Training Lab shirts are a bonus.

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Here is part of the Army Press release:

These candidates are students at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, based out of Fort Bragg.

The exercise’s notional country of Pineland encompasses 15 counties in North Carolina including Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Davidson, Guilford, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties. Throughout the exercise, Special Forces candidates and Robin Sage role-players not only conduct training missions such as controlled assaults and key-leader engagements, but also live, eat and sleep in these civilian areas.

All Robin Sage movements and events have been coordinated with public safety officials throughout and within the towns and counties hosting the training. Residents may hear blank gunfire and see occasional flares. Controls are in place to ensure there is no risk to persons or property. Residents with concerns should contact local law enforcement officials, who will immediately contact exercise control officials.

With the help of civilian authorities and local citizens, Robin Sage has been conducted since 1974; before that time, similar exercises were run under the names Devil’s Arrow, Swift Strike and Guerilla USA.

For the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, safety is always the command’s top priority during all training events. The following measures have been implemented:

• Formal written notification to the chiefs of law enforcement agencies in the affected counties, with a follow-up visit from a unit representative.

• All civilian and non-student military participants are briefed on procedures to follow if there is contact with law enforcement officials.

• Students will only wear civilian clothes if the situation warrants, as determined by the instructors, and will wear a distinctive brown armband during these instances. Personnel role-playing as Pineland law enforcement officers wear distinctive blue hats and armbands, as well.

• Training areas and vehicles used during exercises are clearly labeled.

Approximately 200 military service members from units across Fort Bragg will also support the exercise. These military members act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters, also known as Pineland’s resistance movement. These troops play a critical role in the training exercise. To add realism of the exercise, civilian volunteers throughout the state act as role-players. Participation by these volunteers is crucial to the success of this training, and past trainees attest to the realism they add to the exercise.

Robin Sage is the U.S. military’s premiere unconventional warfare exercise and the final test of over a year’s worth of training for aspiring Special Forces Soldiers. Candidates are placed in an environment of political instability characterized by armed conflict, forcing Soldiers to analyze and solve problems to meet the challenges of this “real-world” training.

During this exercise, these future Special Forces Soldiers must infiltrate areas in small groups and train guerilla forces to independently and effectively use tactical force to liberate Pineland by teaching them to communicate, move, fight and provide medical aid.

U.S. Army students who successfully complete this iteration of the Robin Sage exercise will graduate the Special Forces Qualification Course in a ceremony Nov. 1 in Fayetteville. In addition, foreign military soldiers participating in Robin Sage and the SFQC as part of exchange programs will graduate the course and return to their nation’s military.

We appreciate the support and consideration the citizens of North Carolina extend to the Soldiers participating in the exercise and thank them for their understanding of any inconveniences the training may cause. Questions concerning the exercise should be referred to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs Office at (910) 396-9394, or by e-mail at [email protected] The Robin Sage operations center, run by D Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), can be reached at (910) 432-6455.

In the event of an emergency, please contact your local law enforcement agency. “Candidates are placed in an environment of political instability characterized by armed conflict, forcing Soldiers to analyze and solve problems to meet the challenges of this ‘real-world’ training. With the help of civilian authorities and local citizens, Robin Sage has been conducted since 1974; before this, similar exercises were run under the names Devil’s Arrow, Swift Strike, and Guerilla USA. The exercise’s notional country of Pineland encompasses 15 counties in North Carolina, including Alamance… Chatham, Davidson, Guilford… Montgomery, Moore, [and] Randolph… Special Forces candidates and Robin Sage role-players live, eat and sleep in these civilian areas.