Robert Jager was born in Binghampton, New York on August 25, 1939. He received his education at Wheaton College and the University of Michigan. From 1963-1965, while serving in the U.S. Navy, he was a staff arranger at the Armed Forces School of Music. He directed the band at Old Dominion College and taught composition and theory at Tennessee Technical University.
Jager has won several awards for his works, including two Roth awards, three Ostwald awards, and the Distinguished Service to Music medal (Kappa Kappa Psi). He has written for chamber groups, orchestra, and concert band and has fulfilled many commissions for works for high school and college music groups.