Lieutenant General Robling entered the Marine Corps in 1976 after graduating from Central Washington University with a degree in Business Administration. Following graduation from the Basic School in April 1977, he began flight training and earned his wings in November 1978.
Upon completion of F-4 Phantom transition training at MCAS Yuma, Arizona, he reported to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and joined the "Lancers" of VMFA-212. As a "Lancer," he attended TOPGUN and participated in two WestPac deployments to Iwakuni, Japan. During his three-year tour with VMFA-212, he held various billets including Maintenance Control Officer, Assistant Maintenance Officer, and Aircraft Maintenance Officer.
In June 1983, Lieutenant General Robling reported to Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia and upon graduation returned to MCAS Kaneohe Bay for duty with VMFA-235. As a "Death Angel," he held assignments as the Assistant Operations Officer and Aircraft Maintenance Officer, completed two more WestPac deployments and attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course.
In June 1987, Lieutenant General Robling reported to Headquarters Marine Corps where he served as Aviation Programs Officer for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation. During this tour, he was one of 24 officers selected for F/A-18D transition on the first "Delta" transition board. In August 1989, he reported to VMFAT-101 at MCAS El Toro for F/A-18 Hornet transition training, after which he remained with the "Sharpshooters" as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer as well as a pilot and weapon systems officer instructor.
In December 1990, Lieutenant General Robling reported to the newly redesignated VMFA(AW)-242 and assumed the duties as Executive Officer. In June 1992, he was reassigned as the Commanding Officer of VMFA(AW)-242 and completed another WestPac deployment to Iwakuni, Japan. As the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant General Robling was selected as the Marine Corps Naval Flight Officer of the Year in 1993.
In August 1994, Lieutenant General Robling reported to the National War College where he obtained a Master of Science Degree in National Security Strategy. Following graduation, he reported to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC for duty as the Current Operations Officer, Central Command Division of the Joint Operations Department.
In August 1998, Lieutenant General Robling was selected for a Foreign Affairs Fellowship and attended Johns Hopkins University at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. Upon completion of the Fellowship, he was reassigned to the Director of Expeditionary Warfare, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as the Resource and Requirements Officer for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
In January 2000, Lieutenant General Robling assumed command of Marine Aircraft Group 11. In August 2001, he assumed the duties of Chief of Staff for the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing in Miramar, California. In June 2002, Lieutenant General Robling assumed the duties of Assistant Wing Commander for the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.
In January 2003, Lieutenant General Robling deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was designated Commanding General, 3d MAW Forward in June 2003 and returned to Miramar in September 2003. In July 2004, Lieutenant General Robling assumed duty as Chief of Staff, Striking and Support Forces NATO, in Naples, Italy. In July 2006, he was assigned to serve as the Director, Strategy and Plans Division in Plans, Policy and Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
In July 2007, Lieutenant General Robling assumed command of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, where he served until August of 2009. In September 2009, Lieutenant General Robling assumed command of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Bases Japan until transferring to Headquarters Marine Corps in January of 2011 as Deputy Commandant for Aviation.
Lieutenant General Robling took command of Marine Forces Pacific in August 2012.