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Robin Olds -- Last of a Breed

Posted by Jolly on May 14, 2009

When we lost Robin Olds last year, I think we would all agree he was one of the last of a breed of warriors lacking in the Department of Defense these days.  Why do they call it the department of defense anyway?  I was always of the opinion it should be the Department of “Offense” as VD used to preach at Holloman back in the day.  Sorry, I digress…back to Robin. 

Hearing stories from Borg who has been out doing the Lords work these last few years only reinforces this point.  Field commanders seem way more concerned about looking good in the shower, punching their ticket, and have become the “career” officers we all learned to loath as young pups.  I realize that’s a broad brushed statement, and also acknowledge that we still have some great Americans on the pointy end following the example set by leaders like Robin Olds.

When I hear about senior TED’s (that’s a Typical Enlisted Dudes for you SNAPs in the crowd) walking around base camp scolding officers who were not in the proper PT uniform it just makes my blood boil.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, what about senior officers writing and enforcing the ridiculous ROE our warriors are forced to contend with while fighting for the their lives in the field?  These are just a couple of examples of nonsense that General Olds would not tolerate under his command.  He always found a way to get the mission done, and always protected those placed under his care when they did just that.  He was a “buck stops here” kind of fighter pilot and had a very low BS threshold. 

I’ve talked with several of my friends whom I served with over the years and they have informed me of an effort to honor Robin Olds so that future generations of fighter pilots could learn from his example.  One such effort was to rename the Officers Club at Randolph, The Air Force Academy, or Nellis AFB.  Additionally, they would put on display some of Robin’s memorabilia so that his story will not be forgotten.  There’s not a better place to finish a debrief than over a cold beverage at the club, and it would be fitting to have the true spirit of a fighter pilot like Robin Olds present for that debrief.

I’ve been told there’s been some resistance to establishing a tribute like this to General Olds.  There are still many senior officers who view Robin as a renegade who bucked the system to get the job done.  Yea---so what’s their point?  You mean a renegade like Patton, Billy Mitchell, or Pappy Boyington?  There I go digressing again….  Maybe we need to get some bracelets made that say “WTFWRD” (What The Frick Would Robin Do) to remind ourselves that great leaders find a way to get the mission done despite obstacles placed in their way.

Robin’s daughter, Chris, has been appointed the executrix of his estate.  In it is a ton of memorabilia that should be on display in one of the venues mentioned above.  Because of the resistance to establishing such a place, it may be lost forever.  She has been forced to put some of it up for sale to settle his estate with the IRS.  I don’t even want to get started on a rant about our government’s taxation without representation vehicle---again I digress. 

Here at Fighter Pilot University, we encourage you to do two things.  First, contact anyone you know still on active duty to support the effort to establish a tribute to this great warrior at one of the places previously mentioned.  Second, visit the following auction houses on line and buy this memorabilia so that it’s not lost forever.  It needs to be saved in the event the Air Force comes to its senses and decides to establish a place where these things can be put on display:



Posted by Kman on
Add to your list of Quotable Quotes..." A fighter without a gun is like an airplane without a wing"! Robin Olds
Posted by Spanky on
A foundation has been established to carry on the work of Robin Olds. A note from Chris Olds about the current situation: If you have already sent checks directly to me at PO Box 6601, Avon, Co 81620, I will deposit them into the Estate of Robin Olds account supervised by the Court and earmark them to receive a “tax donation” certificate for your 2009 taxes through the Robin Olds foundation. Or, donations may be sent payable to the RRVA (Red River Valley Association) which is already a 501(3)c and has established a Robin Olds Fund for this purpose. RRVA can immediately issue a receipt for your tax write-off.
Those checks should be made out to RRVA, with “Robin Olds Fund” or R.O.F. noted in the memo line on the check. The River Rats will then send the amounts to me payable to the Estate of Robin Olds.

Mail your check to: RRVA National Office, P.O. Box 1553, Front Royal, VA 22630-0033, or go to the RRVA webpage: and make your donation there via credit or debit card.
Posted by ChristinaOlds on
Thank you guys! You are all FSH!
Posted by ChristinaOlds on
Also - Nellis AFB is most definitely in the process of naming the bar in the O-Club after Robin and I am in close touch with those guys for the receipt and display of RO memorabilia. I will also attend the opening.
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