This page provides a brief overview of ways to get patches to start or expand your collection. The appearance of a link to an individual or business outside this website does not necessary constitute an endorsement by or the Webmaster.

Friends & Family

While the number of people in the US who are serving or have served in the military has decreased over the years, there is still a good chance that a friend or relative may have some patches that they might be willing to part with. It never hurts to ask! Because of the personal connection, patches obtained from friends or relatives are extra special as they are often more meaningful to a collector. For those with friends and relatives still actively serving, ask them if they can pick up some patches from some of the units where they are currently stationed.

Army Surplus & Militaria Stores

Many communities have Army Surplus Stores (also called “Army & Navy Goods or Surplus Stores”) that sometimes stock patches for sale. Stores located near military bases often have decent selections available. Since Army Surplus Stores turn over their inventory regularly, stop by periodically to see if they have new stock. The easiest way to find the nearest location is to search for “Army Surplus Store” or “Surplus Store” on Google Maps, Bing Maps or Apple Maps.

While they are increasingly harder to find, there are still brick & mortar Militaria Shops. Militaria Shops differ from Army Surplus Stores in that they specialize in military items for collectors. The easiest way to find the nearest location is to search for “military” on Google Maps, Bing Maps or Apple Maps.

Antique Stores

Antique stores periodically have patches for sale, particularly those located near military bases. As many of these stores now sell on consignment, there is always a chance to find a patch or two. The easiest way to find the nearest location is to search for “antique store” on Google Maps, Bing Maps or Apple Maps.

Gun & Militaria Shows

Gun show vendors occasionally have patches for sale. Most gun shows charge an admission fee to enter so attending will cost a fee whether patches are found. Gun Show Trader provides an online list of shows throughout the United States. You can also find shows by searching for “Gun Show” plus the location on Google or your preferred search engine.

Unlike Gun Shows, Militaria Shows specialize in military items for collectors. These shows are held are various locations throughout the United States and abroad. These venues provide an excellent opportunity to pick up items for your collection and meet fellow collectors.

Miltaria Show Lists

The following websites lists upcoming militaria shows. Information on these websites are subject to change, so you should verify show dates times prior to traveling:

Militaria Show Websites

The following are show and show organizer specific websites:

Military Clothing Sales Store (MCSS)

US Air Force Photo

MCSSs are uniform stores located on Air Force, Space Force and Army military bases and run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). MCSSs do sell a limited number of USAF and USSF patches. For the USAF, typically the inventory is limited to Major Command patches, but occasionally other unit patches can be purchased. Unlike the USAF, USSF unit patches can be found in MCSS but typically only in locations where there is a USSF presence. AAFES does occasionally have USAF and USSF patches for sale on their website,, but the selection is limited.  Only authorized personnel are allowed to make purchases at a MCSS or the Shop My Exchange website (active-duty and reserve personnel, retirees, and their dependents).

US Air Force Photo

Directly From Air Force & Space Force Units

Getting patches directly from a unit is one of the best ways to ensure authenticity. Here are some ways to get patches directly from the units.

Writing to Units. Writing directly to USAF and USSF units to request patches is sometimes successful.  Officially, patches purchased with government funds are only supposed to be issued to unit members for wear on uniforms or given as awards, but this direction is not always followed.  Popular units, such as fighter squadrons, sometimes do not respond or do not send patches since the sheer number of requests would deplete their stocks. If an individual is lucky enough to score a patch through this method, don’t get greedy. Individuals should not make repeated requests to the same unit. In some cases, a request for patches will be passed on to the unit “Snacko” or “Booster Club” (see below).

Unit Booster Club, “Snack Officer (SNACKO)” or Coffee Fund.  Many USAF and USSF units have an unofficial unit-affiliated activity or private organization, often referred to as the unit “booster club” or “coffee fund”, that will sell patches to unit members and to the public. In flying organizations, the “SNACKO”, typically the lowest ranking officer in the unit, is charged with keeping the unit snack bar and real bar stocked and promoting unit morale. This includes selling patches. In many cases an individual must visit the unit to get the patches, but some units do mail-order or online sales. The money raised from selling patches benefits unit activities that cannot be funded with government money so it’s going to a good cause.

Airshows. Many units sell patches and other “swag” directly to the public at airshows. Visiting aircrew will typically setup next to their aircraft static display. While most of these patches are authentic, some units produce patches solely to the public (i.e. — they are not worn or used by unit members). Additionally, many units will hike their prices at airshows as it is a good fundraising opportunity. Again, it’s going to a good cause.

Asking a USAF or USSF Member Directly for Their Patch. This takes more courage, but the reward is worth it! Military members will sometimes literally give you the patch off their uniform. Remember the worst that can happen is they say “no”.

Directly From the Manufacturer

Some patch manufacturers will produce overruns of patches ordered by USAF and USSF units and offer them for sale directly to the general public. The easiest way to find out if a manufacturer sells to the public is to directly ask.

Trading with Other Collectors

Trading patches is another great way to get patches. While asking for patches directly was discussed in the paragraphs above, offering a patch in trade is often a way to ensure success. Trading among collectors is common, and events like Militaria Shows discussed above are get venues to do so. Individuals can also establish connections with other collectors by joining an organization or participating in forums and social media pages. For individuals wanted to trade, USAFpatches has a guide to trading patches.

Online Stores

Online stores. This page provides a list of reputable individuals and businesses who sell authentic USAF and/or USSF patches to individual customers. It is recommended that you shop around to get the best possible price.  When considering a purchase from any vendor, be sure to look over their return policies, shipping policies/costs and whether they charge sales tax. For eBay®, in general, there are many fakes and reproductions that are for sale on the site. Please go to the Fakes and Reproductions and the eBay page for more information. If you have had problems or issues with any of the individuals or businesses listed on this page, please contact the Webmaster. If there is enough negative feedback the vendor will be removed.

If you are an individual or business who sells USAF and/or USSF patches or know of a patch reseller that is not listed, please contact the Webmaster for consideration. To get listed you must sell authentic patches directly to individuals. Individuals or businesses who misrepresent reproduction/fake patches or primarily sell reproductions will not be considered for addition to this page. maintains a Shop where we sell patches that are excess to my personal collection. Some of the funds from purchases are used to pay for this website.


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