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MEPS at a Glance

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Once you've completed the ASVAB, if you do not live in the same local area where your MEPS is located, you will be taken to a contract hotel. Generally, you will be assigned a roommate. The lodging accommodations and meals are paid for by MEPS. You will pay only for extras, such as telephone calls, in-room movies, in-room Internet access, etc. (if available).

MEPS arranges contracts with motel/hotels which are in the immediate vicinity of the MEPS. This means accommodations vary from location to location. I've visited some facilities where the motel accommodations were not the best (discount, motel-6 type), and other MEPS where the accommodations are truly outstanding (4-star rating).

When you check into the motel/hotel, you will generally be instructed to sign receipt of a list of rules. While this varies location-to-location, the rules include prohibitions for use of alcohol/drugs, curfew provisions, noise restrictions, etc. In general, it shouldn't be anything you can't live with (you'll have much tougher restrictions in boot camp). You should know that if you get caught violating any of these rules, it could terminate your processing in the military.

Your wake up call the next morning will come very early (usually about 0445). You'll have scant time to, dress, eat, and be at the designated location for the shuttle back to MEPS.

The entire morning is usually scheduled for medical examination. This is a "hurry up & wait," situation. You'll spend a lot of time "waiting your turn." I suggest bringing a book or magazine.

The Evaluation

The primary job of MEPS is to determine, under military regulations, policies, and federal law, whether or not you are qualified to serve in the United States Armed Forces, and -- if so, what jobs you may qualify for, under individual service regulations. The first step in that process, of course, is obviously the ASVAB. The ASVAB indicates whether or not you meet the basic general aptitude standards to join the military (see Minimum ASVAB Scores), and -- if so, what jobs you qualify for, under the standards set by the specific branch you're joining (see Enlisted Job Qualifications).

MEPS personnel also determine whether you are medically qualified to serve. Additionally, representatives of the service branch you're joining will be at MEPS to determine your job qualification and security qualifications. While these individuals "work" at the MEPS location, they are not actually part of MEPS. They are actually assigned to the indivdual service recruiting activities. So, while the person giving you your ASVAB Test and medical physical are assigned to MEPS, and work jointly for all the services, the people doing your enlistment contracts, job selections, and security qualifications are not assigned to MEPS, and are representing only their individual services.

It's very important that you are completely honest during your visit to MEPS. If anyone (including your recruiter) has advised you to lie, or withhold required information, and you heed that advise, it can have dire consequences later. See I Cannot Tell a Lie for complete information about this.

At most MEPS locations, one of the very first things you'll do when you arrive in the morning is take a breathalizer test to ensure that you are not currently under the influence of alcohol. Any trace of alcohol in your system, at all, will stop your processing, on-the-spot.

The Medical Evaluation

The physical begins with the completion of the Medical Questionaire, DD Form 2807-1, Report of Medical History. This is an abbreviated form of the Medical Prescreening Form that you completed in the recruiter's office. You're required to answer "Yes" or "No" in answer to questions about whether you have ever had any of the medical condtions listed. Note that there is no "I Don't Know" on this form. You've either had the conditon (i.e., diagnosed by a medical professional), or you haven't had the condition. Every item marked "YES" must be fully explained in the remarks section of the form. If there are descrepancies between answers on this form and the answers you gave on the Medical Prescreening Form, your enlistment process will most likely stop, and you'll be returned to your recruiter to obtain additional medical records and information. This is why it is very important to make sure that you're completely honest on both forms.

After completing the Medical Questionaire, you'll start the "process."

You will take a blood and urine test (including a test for drugs). Females will be tested for pregnancy.

Your blood will be tested for HIV, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, RPR, and Alcohol. There are also two different urine tests, one is the legal drug urine and the other tests for pH, blood, protein, and specific gravity.

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