Robbins is a 1966 graduate of West Point, served two tours of duty in Vietnam and is the recipient of more than a dozen medals for his service, including the Bronze Star. He was the first inductee into the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Hall of Fame.
Robbins' career in government began in 1982 when he was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature. He was elected to the state senate in 1990. Active in the senate in veterans issues, he is vice chairman of the military and veterans affairs committee.
He also sits on the community and economic development, game and fisheries, rules and executive nominations, and communications and high technology committees.