Front Line Tweets: A WWII Soldier Shares His Story

Ross Selkirk Taylor

Ross Selkirk Taylor, or Twitter's @DriverRoss

Unknowingly, a WWII veteran may have been the first to “tweet” from the frontlines. Well, maybe not exactly tweet, but you’ll see what we mean.

In January, a Twitter account was created to share a story that may have happened in 1940, but is still very relevant today. @DriverRoss is the official Twitter account for Ross Selkirk Taylor, a Scottish World War II veteran who kept a diary account of his life in the Royal Army Service Corps.

According to the bio of @DriverRoss, Taylor is sharing his story as a 21 year-old WWII British Army driver through his grandson (@ayreslive). Each day, Taylor’s grandson tweets daily entries from his 1940 pocket diary, detailing everything in Taylor’s diary account of 1940, including his deployment to France and his eventual imprisonment and torture by Nazi forces.

“It sounds insane that my grandfather tweeted the first year of World War II. But when you look at his tattered 1940 pocket diary, in which each entry is less than 140 characters, that’s precisely what he did,” says Chris Ayres, the man behind the Twitter account as well as an author and journalist.

The Twitter account launched on January first and will continue until December 31, 2012. Right now, you can catch Taylor’s diary entries from February 1940 and in May, things will take a dramatic turn, as this was the point in 1940 where Taylor was captured from Le Mans, France by a Nazi Panzer division.

It’s an interesting project and one that draws attention to the forgotten heroes and amazing stories of World War II. Check it out by visiting http://www.twitter.com/driverross

Our Top Picks for Spring: A Patriot’s Guide to Spring Fashion

Army Graphic TeeAlright, it’s February. I know it’s early, but when it comes to spring fashion, now is the time that you start thinking about such things. But I digress. Springtime for patriots is an exciting time. There’s more time outside, more daylight, and clothing that can keep up with your thirst for adventure. What exactly am I talking about? I’m talking about some of the top picks for spring in our selection.

At Patriot Surplus, we give patriots the gear they need to get the job done, whether it’s actually being on the job or just enjoying your day off. This spring, we’re really excited about some new and classic items in our selection and we’d like to share our predictions for what we think will end up being hits with our customers:

Vintage Military Graphic T-Shirts: Vintage-inspired graphics are going to be huge this spring, especially on t-shirts. We’ve already started stocking our shelves with Oscar Mike Foundation military t-shirts and other military graphic tees that showcase retro-inspired designs honoring the Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force.

Hiking Boots: The weather is getting nicer and you know what that means: time spent outdoors! As more people return to the trails this spring, we’re stocking up on men’s hiking boots and women’s hiking boots from top brands like Converse and Daner to get you ready for your next adventure.

Women’s Combat Boots: We saw this trend start up in the fall and we’ll see it transition into spring as the ladies pair light and airy dresses with some truly badass boots. Our pick? Corcooran Women’s Leather Jump Boots.

Wiley-X Sunglasses: Stylish, durable, and ready to take on anything. That’s what we like to hear. Wiley-X sunglasses are always a popular pick during the warmer months of the year, but if you want to take advantage of some great deals on this spring and summer staple, now is the time to start shopping. We have a great selection of Wiley-X sunglasses ready for wear.

Women’s Paratrooper Fatigues: These pants are all about form and function. They’re comfortable, durable, and even on par with this season’s utility clothing trend. One of our favorite pairs from our selection is the women’s vintage paratroooper pants in stone. With a really flattering color and great fit, these paratrooper pants are great for transitioning you – comfortably – into spring.

Alright patriots, so tell us: what spring clothing are YOU most excited about?

Military Quotes to Inspire You

Oscar Mike SweatshirtNow seems like the perfect time for some inspiration. During the winter months, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, bogged down, and just feeling generally crummy. Limited daylight and crappy weather will do that to you. But there is a way to give yourself a quick pick-me-up: quotations. Everyone shares them on Facebook and loves to write them into letters and cards, but at their heart, quotations are words of inspiration to those who need it.

Here are some of the greatest military quotes from leaders, heroes, and soldiers. They’re meant to inspire, invigorate, and remind you of what really matters because when things get difficult, it can be easy to forget. Don’t forget and take some time today to refresh yourself:

“Victory belongs to the most persevering.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…” – Patrick Henry

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“In the final measure, nothing speaks like deeds.” – General John A. Wickham, Jr.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – General Colin Powell

“You’re never beaten until you admit it.” – General George Patton Jr.

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”- General George Patton Jr.

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

What are you looking to achieve? Stick with it. 

Stay on the Lookout for New Camouflage Patterns

MultiCam Propper CoatMilitary.com is reporting that Army uniform officials have tapped five companies to develop a new family of camouflage patterns as part of the Phase IV Camouflage efforts. A January 10th announcement from military officials notes that these vendors will develop camouflage-patterened material for both uniforms and equipment. Final products will be field tested later this year and evaluated for their performance.

The five companies chosen are solid. One is Crye Precision LLC, which developed MultiCam, a camouflage pattern that the Army chose in 2010 to replace the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) in Afghanistan. As we already know, MultiCam is of incredibly high quality and in our store, we offer a full selection of MultiCam gear. Other companies chosen to make the new camo include ADS, Inc. (in conjunction with Hyperstealth, Inc.), Brookwood Companies, Inc., and Kryptek, Inc. Also included in the race is a government pattern that was developed at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

“These selectees were chosen following a rigorous technical evaluation backed by solid scientific analyses and incorporating critical Soldier input from the field,” Program Executive Soldier spokeswoman Debi Dawson said in the media announcement.

We know that back in the fall, Army uniform officials wrapped up tests in which 900 soldiers completed digital picture surveys of camouflage patterns under consideration. We’ll be curious to see what happens with the patterns and with MultiCam in the running, it’s sure to be interesting.