On Aug. 9, at the Department of Maine Headquarters in Winslow, George Robinson Jr.,of the Williams-Brazier Post 37 in Thomaston, was appointed as the American Legion’s Department of Maine Historian.

Robinson is originally from Rockland, where he attended the Rockland District High School and graduated in 1970. After graduation, he attended the University of New Haven, in Connecticut. He returned to Maine in 1972 and worked various jobs including at the Economy’s Clothing Store for Keith Goldsmith.

In 1974, Robinson enlisted into the U.S. Army. He wanted to go back to college, using the military’s G.I. Bill. Robinson attended his Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. He enlisted to become a telephone exchange repairman and after basic attended Common Basic Electronics Training (COBET), still at Ft. Jackson. After COBET he went to Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, for Advanced Individual Training as a Dial Central Office Repairman.

While at Ft. Monmouth he lived off-post with two married couples. One of the wives was German and in June 1975 her best friend from Germany, Inge, came to visit for a month. One thing led to another and three weeks later he asked Inge to marry him. They married Dec. 27, at Ft. Ritchie, Maryland. They are still married today and have two sons and five grandchildren.

Over the following years, Robinson was assigned to other posts and attended additional military schools. He became Installer and Circuit Conditioning qualified as well as receiving a secondary Military Occupational Specialty CMOS) as a 36C – Telephone Installer. Robinson attended NCO advancement academies and retired in 1994 as a Sergeant First Class. He also received a degree from the University of Maryland – Europe in January 1987.

After Robinson retired he remained in Germany and worked at Army Microwave Centers in Landstuhl and Darmstadt, Germany. His wife is from Darmstadt and they lived in the home she was born in, with her mother. When the Status of Forces Agreement was rewritten Robinson lost his job at the microwave site in Darmstadt.

Fortunately, Robinson began to volunteer as a youth coach for the American Youth Activities in 1983, while stationed in Garmisch, Germany. He used this to obtain a paying job with them and remained with Youth Services until 2011, working his way up to Program Manager positions. Due to the draw down and base closures in Europe he worked his way out of a job when there were no vacancies in Europe for his Managerial position.

From 2005 to 2011 Robinson was involved in closing youth centers at four different posts. Robinson retired from the Civil Service in June 2011. With his sons living in the States, Robinson and his wife sold her family home and moved to Maine. His oldest son was already in Maine and his youngest was in Ohio with his wife.

Robinson has been a military historian for most of his life. He had been with an approved US Army Private Organization in Germany from 1993 to 2011, eventually obtaining building space for use as a military history museum.

From 2001 to 2006 the organization established the Veterans Memorial Museum (VMM), with the help of Teri Viedt at the USAG-Darmstadt headquarters, at Babenhausen Kaserne. The VMM logo came from the letters of the belt buckles worn by the first few Maine militia regiments during the Civil War, including the 4th Maine Infantry Regiment from Rockland. This museum operated until 2006, when the base was closed. The USAG-Darmstadt Commander Colonel David Astin then authorized the museum to move to the Griesheim Army Airfield, knowing Darmstadt was closing in 2008. The hope was that the museum could find a permanent home in the Darmstadt area. This quest was not successful.

Robinson has been an American Legion member since 2013 and a member of the Williams-Brazier Post 37 since January 2019. He was with a small group of Legionnaires that came from another post, in January 2019, to join a post that was being kept alive by three dedicated men in Thomaston. Since that January, Post 37 membership has increased dramatically and is once again able to hold post and community events that are well attended.

Earlier this year, the Department of Maine Historian resigned his position, leaving the Department without a historian. Robinson had been selected to be part of a committee for the Department to establish guidelines for the various Department writing contests. Talk kept turning back to the need of a historian for the Department.

According to Robinson, “It seemed that Department Adjutant, Paul L’Heureux, kept looking at me when he was talking about the historian position. I do not know if it was or not, but I took it as some sort of sign. After the meeting was over I approached Adjutant L’Heureux and offered my services to be an acting Department Historian until new elections could be held.”

Robinson submitted a resume and was offered the position by Department Commander, Matthew Jabaut, July 30. During a meeting of the Department Executive Committee, on the morning of Aug. 9, Robinson was sworn in as the Department Historian.

Robinson is a dedicated military historian and avid researcher. He writes often about local military history for Post 37 and, from time to time, portrays Colonel Elijah Walker, last commander of the Fourth Mane Regiment, at public speaking engagements.

Robinson said of his appointment, “I do not know if I am able to accomplish the mission of being Department Historian, but time will tell. I do know that I am not afraid to try different things and will perform this new duty to the very best of my ability.”