The large variety of military patches is the primary reason for their popularity as collectible war memorabilia. Aside from the common patches that display the particulars of a certain military regiment, such as years of service and rank, they can also be made to display more specialized messages. Special patches are sometimes awarded to servicemen who display outstanding acts of valor or honor.
In addition, since patches are not limited to a single branch of the military, an entire collection can already be made composed of patches from a single contingent. Aside from Army military patches, patches from the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and National Guard can also be obtained by collectors.
In order to avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, many collectors often choose to focus on only the most desirable patches that are up for sale. These patches are often associated with a significant event, era, or historical figure.
Military patches that were used during World War II are particularly popular with American patch collectors. One such highly collectible item is the Eagle Squadron patch. These patches were worn by a number of American servicemen who joined the British Royal Air Force prior to the actual involvement of the United States in the war. The patches were used to indicate their citizenship after they joined the foreign contingent.
Another highly prized military patch from the period of the Second World War is the Army Specialized Training WWII patch. These patches were awarded to servicemen from the United States who underwent specialized training during WWII.
The Vietnam War is another event that also produced patches that are highly sought after by patch collectors. Although diminutive in size, the Vietnam Service Campaign patch commands great attention. Regardless of military branch, this patch was worn by all the American military men who participated in the Vietnam War.
Alternatively, aside from specific historical events, collectors can also choose to build their collections around patches of a certain branch of the military. One of the most popular American branch specific patch is the Helicopter Squadrons patch of the US Navy.
Aside from the pilots, the other members of each helicopter squadron are also awarded with the military patch. Also, a unique design, color, and name is often designated for each squadron thus broadening the number of available choices.
For collectors who do not wish to limit themselves to a single country and its various patches, they have even more alternatives at their disposal. Therefore, it is even more vital that they properly determine a both a specific purpose and collection method in order to create a cohesive collection.
The most common method utilized by collectors to narrow down their choices is to focus on the military patches that are the most historically significant. German shoulder boards, used by the German Army, are some of the most highly valued war memorabilia. These patches that were used to indicate the rank of the servicemen from Germany command great regard whether they are from the First or Second World War.
Another rare and desirable patch for many collectors is the SAS Paratrooper Sleeve Badge. Since only the most proficient paratroopers from the British military are presented with this badge, it is much harder to come by and therefore even more collectible as a result.
A French military patch that is deemed the most popular for collectors is the Foreign Legion Infantry patch. Due to the prestige of being a part of the French foreign legion, only its members are presented with this special patch.
In the end, regardless of the specific method you choose to use in building your collection, each patch still holds a specific significance that cannot be denied. Therefore, great care must be taken in choosing each piece and finding a place for it in your collection.
However, since many of the rarer patches are often hard to find, some collectors can also choose to commission a replica from an online supplier instead. They only need to supply the design to the manufacturer and have it conveniently shipped to their location. Afterwards, they can just display the patches alongside their historical documents or photographs and put them up for display. Although these customized patches will by no means replace the originals, they will still make a good temporary addition to your collection until you can get your hands on the real deal.