The US Armed Forces include the US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force. You can find a variety of US Armed Forces rank slides and patches on eBay. Before buying, learn about the different enlisted and officer ranks as well as popular collectors' items to identify rank slides and patches that you would like to start collecting.
US Armed Forces Rank Insignia
The US Armed Forces consist of the US Army,US Air Force,US Navy, and US Coast Guard. Coast Guard rank insignia are similar to Navy insignia, but the colours differ and the Coast Guard has an additional seaman recruit rank. The lowest enlisted ranks in the Army are Private, Private First Class, and Corporal/Specialist. Equivalent ranks in the Marines are Private, Private First Class, Lance Corporal, and Corporal. Navy and Coast Guard ranks include Seaman Recruit, Seaman Apprentice, Seaman, and Petty Officer Third Class. Gold stripes show 12 or more years of good conduct. Air Force ranks are Airman Basic, Airman, Airman First Class, and Senior Airman. After progressing through these ranks, members of the Armed Forces may become non-commissioned officers (NCOs). NCOs include Army Sergeants, Air Force Staff Sergeants, Marine Corporals, and Navy Petty Officers third class. US Armed Forces NCO insignia often feature similar designs. However, lines, stripes, stars, or other subtle additions indicate seniority and specific ranks.
US Armed Forces Officer Ranks
Officer ranks include commissioned and warrant officers, and commissioned ranks are the highest. Warrant officers have warrants from service secretaries and are experts in certain fields. Commissioned warrant officers are chief warrant officers with presidential commissions. The Air Force does not have warrant officers. Lieutenants, captains, majors, lieutenant colonels, colonels, brigadier generals, major generals, lieutenant generals, and generals are commissioned officers.Insignia designs include gold and silver stripes or bars, gold and silver oak leaves, silver eagles, and silver stars.
Choosing US Armed Forces Rank Slides and Patches
US Armed Forces rank slides and patches indicate more than rank. They show different branches of the armed forces, specialisations and groupings, years of service, and commendations. You can focus your collection on several facets. Look for slides and patches from a specific branch, such as the Army or Navy, or focus on commendations for valour. Alternatively, focus on a specific era or war. World War II patches and slides are popular collectors' items and many collectors focus on US American Flyer patches from this era. Pilots who joined the Allied forces before America officially joined the war received these patches when they flew for the Royal Air Force. Other popular choices include Vietnam campaign patches, Helicopter Squadron patches, and Word War II Army Specialized Training patches. Look for patches and slides in good condition that consist of quality fabrics and embroidery.