A Brief History Of Meps
Some who chronicle the history of the military entrance processing station will look as far back as the American Revolution. Naturally MEPS did not formally exist back then in a manner we would recognize today, but there was some form of induction for the troops who wanted to become part of the fight against England.
Some of the earliest attempts to screen new recruits echo what is done today. During the Civil War medical doctors were required to examine all new troops there were few standardized procedures or criteria, though there were rules about acceptable circumferences for chest measurements, height, etc.
Hardly the most scientific screening process imaginablesome sources report Army doctors being required to note below average height as a possible indicator that the recruit or conscript was prone to disease. But these procedures were a crude precursor to later, more scientific examinations.
The real history of what we understand today as MEPS starts circa World War One A declaration of war signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 pushed Americas military into a different phase of its evolution.
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According to one MEPS history guide, by the time America had finished with World War Two, the military entrance processing system had become among the largest selection and classification systems for human labor ever seen at the time.
What Does Meps Do
MEPS stations process applicants for military service, putting them through several tests and examinations to ensure that they meet the standards required to serve in the United States Army. These tests include:
- Moral/background examination
- ASVAB Test
If applicants are deemed qualified for military service, they will also meet with a service counselor, negotiate and sign enlistment contracts, and swear an entrance oath. After swearing in and saying the entrance oath, you are bound by UCMJ until your contract is expired. MEPS is only the beginning. Your next step is the fun one, basic training! Use what time you have to study and improve your physical fitness.
Why Is Meps Conducted
MEPS is conducted to ensure that individuals meet the medical, physical and moral standards set by each branch of service.
This screening process tests individuals in varying ways, verifying applicants can meet the demands indicated in each job.
Each branch has certain requirements regarding medical history, height and weight and physical requirements.
The Military is physically and mentally demanding.
MEPS is used to ensure that you can meet those demands without causing harm to yourself or to others.
During this process an applicants aptitude will be tested and individuals will learn which jobs they qualify for.
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What Is A Meps
A MEPS is the place where you undergo screening to serve in any branch of the U.S. armed forces. This is a joint-service organization with the Department of Defense that civilians and military personnel staff. When trying to join the military, you often speak with a recruiter before reporting to your MEPS location and go through a pre-screening process.
If you pass the screening and examinations, you can select your occupation, based on your test scores and the needs of your chosen service. You then complete the oath of enlistment at your MEPS visit. Depending on your enlistment process, you may visit the MEPS once or twice. Those who visit only once typically stay for two days and proceed directly to basic training afterward.
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Advancement Opportunities For Enlisted Personnel
Enlisted service members have ample opportunity to advance up the ranks. During their first four-year enlistment, service members are promoted a couple of times. There are also opportunities to become a noncommissioned or commissioned officer:
Becoming a Noncommissioned Officer
Noncommissioned officers are higher-ranking enlisted personnel who play a crucial role in day-to-day military operations and are often referred to as the “backbone” of the Armed Forces. Serving as the liaison between commissioned officers and lower-ranking enlisted personnel, they are responsible for providing advice and guidance to officers as well as leadership and training to lower-ranking enlisted personnel.
To become a noncommissioned officer , a service member must rise up through the enlisted ranks. A service member can only be appointed to noncommissioned officer if he or she is promoted by a higher-ranking officer.
Transitioning from Enlisted to Officer
Some enlisted service members make the transition into officer roles. Enlisted service members with the right qualifications may be recommended by their commanding officers for Officer Candidate/ Training School or Reserved Officer Training Corps . Most Services also have transitional programs that help service members make the leap.
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Think About Which Job You Want
Consider reviewing military jobs in your chosen branch before arriving at the facility. This can help you better determine what your goals are and how to achieve them. If youre not granted your preferred military occupation, consider one or two backup fields that would be a good fit.
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Where Will I Stay If I Have To Travel To Meps
MEPS are divided into 12 battalion regions across the country. If a recruit has to travel far to MEPS or stay overnight, the government will cover the expenses of lodging and meals. Applicants may be required to share a room. Any incidentals such as telephone calls or non-complimentary bottles of water must be paid by the recruit.
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Getting Ready For Meps
In preparation for MEPS, a potential service member should do the following:
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At Ramstein Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate, MEPS provided 1,250 portable toilets and more than 100 showers to over 28,000 refugee Afghans in transit from Afghanistan through Germany to America.
Hygiene in the toilet cabins was ensured by MEPS cleaning staff, who were on duty 24 hours a day. In addition, MEPS ensured that the refugees from Afghanistan always had a “quiet place” and showers nearby on the large apron of the air base. For this purpose, the mobile toilet cabins on the site were moved several times, depending on requirements. All sanitary units were cleaned and disinfected at least six times a day. The 24/7 service naturally included water supply and sanitation. The quarantine station newly set up on the air base was also cleaned and disinfected six times a day by MEPS in compliance with the Technical Rules for Workplaces and the applicable hygiene regulations. The use of protective equipment in accordance with the applicable Infection Protection Act was also a matter of course.
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Your Visit To The Meps
Like thousands of other young men and women before you, well assume that you are healthy and motivated and you took your ASVAB and scored well. You have kept your nose clean for the last 17 or 18 years and life is good. For your efforts you have been given a date to go to the nearest MEPS site. Youre in the game now, baby! Youll be briefed by your recruiter and expected to bring or do the following:
Medical Evaluation At Meps
The physical begins with the completion of the medical questionnaire, after which you’ll begin the process. You will take a blood and urine test . 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.
You’ll take a hearing test, and an eye exam, including depth perception and color vision. . Air Force personnel will take a strength test .
You’ll undergo a weight check. If your weight exceeds the standard listed by the service you are trying to join, you’ll undergo a body-fat measurement. If your body-fat exceeds the standard set by the service you are trying to join, you’ll be temporarily disqualified. You will continue with the physical, however.
At one point in the examination, you will be required to strip down to your underwear along with the other recruits . You’ll then be instructed to perform several exercises to assess balance and other physical attributes.
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Military Entrance Processing Station
Once you make the decision to enlist, the Military Entrance Processing Station is the place where recruits go to finish the enlistment process. There are MEPS locations all over the country. Recruits officially complete the process of joining the Military once they meet all of the MEPS requirements. This process may take a few days.
Potential recruits must do the following at the MEPS:
Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine which kinds of careers an individual is best suited for. There are questions about math, language, science, mechanical and electronic knowledge and more. The test lasts about three hours and is one of the factors used to determine which military specialties you’d be good at. You can take the ASVAB while at MEPS, but you can also take it at your school if it’s offered there, or at a Military Entrance Test site.
Pass the Physical Examination
Your recruiter will discuss physical requirements with you beforehand. While the physical examination varies from branch to branch, it typically includes completing a medical history questionnaire, taking basic blood, urine and flexibility tests, as well as hearing and vision exams.
Meet With a MEPS Career Counselor and Determine a Career
Along with your ASVAB results, a MEPS career counselor will take into account service needs, any prior experience and your wishes when helping you find a career.
Take the Oath of Enlistment
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What Happens After The Meps
After finishing at the MEPS, recruits follow one of two options:
- “Direct Ship:” Departure for Basic Training occurs in a matter of days versus months.
- Delayed Entry Program : Commit to Basic Training at a time in the future, generally within one year. Recruits entering the DEP are given further instruction, to be followed at a later time.
It’s important to note that the time between being “sworn in” and Basic Training could be as short as two days or as long as a year. It also varies based on job assignment and branch of Service.
Collect Necessary Identification Documents
Try to have your Social Security card, drivers license and birth certificate with you when you visit the facility. Consider storing them in a file folder or small binder to protect them from damage during the day. This also can help you locate them more easily to give to staff when they request them.
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What Is Meps And How Do I Deal With It
You may have heard friends who are joining the military discussing how they have to go to MEPS and how exciting it is. What exactly is MEPS?
MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station. Once you have gone through initial questioning phases with your recruiter and have discussed your options, your recruiter will set an appointment for you to go to the nearest MEPS. Here you will take the ASVAB, have a physical, and — choose your job and swear in.
Everything together should take two days, though there are some situations that may make things shorter or longer. Some people will go into their branch’s delayed entry program and go home after MEPS to wait until their ship-out date. Others will embark to basic training immediately after MEPS. Remember, you have not joined the military before going to MEPS, but by the end of it, you will be asked to.
Here are some helpful hints for before you go to MEPS:
Meps Locations: East And West
The U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command is divided into two sectors of battalions: the Eastern Sector Battalions and the Western Sector Battalions. The dividing line between the two sectors runs roughly down the Mississippi River.
The Eastern Sector MEPS stations serve the even-numbered battalions , while the Western Sector MEPS stations serve the odd-numbered battalions .
Before a recruit can join the Armed Services, he or she proceeds to a MEPS station for a list of tests designed to measure fitness for military service. After spending about two days at the MEPS station, successful recruits will either go home to await their date to ship out or will proceed directly to basic training.
Choosing A Military Occupation
The last step at MEPS is choosing a job specialty. Before leaving for MEPS, most recruiters will have reviewed the applicants job options, so he or she is prepared to select a job at MEPS. Service specialties range from infantry to communications.
As always, the current needs and policies of the military will determine the job selection process and may not result in a guaranteed job.
Branch Of Service Administrative Processing
After the physical is completed, you will return to your service liaison. Your service liaison will initiate the contract and any associated annexes that details the job, when your contract starts, and how long your service requirement will be.
Keep in mind that all contracts will entail an eight year obligation that is broken down into active duty and reserve obligations. For example, if you are receiving a commission in the Navy, your designator may require a five year active duty service obligation, the remaining three years of the eight total would be as a member of the Individual Ready Reserve . Your recruiter can go into much more detail ask!
Once the liaison has finished getting everything in order, you will go back to the MEPS to finish your processing. It is then that you will get fingerprinted and interviewed. It is the start of an in-depth background investigation that will reveal your history from simple traffic violations to even arrests that were later expunged. Ensure you are as honest as you can you do not want something to come back during your investigation that you had previously left out. Each service has a conduct waiver procedure that is based on set DoD guidelines.
Once all is satisfactorily completed, then the contracts will be signed and you will take your oath of enlistment.
How To Request A Copy Of Meps Records
For applicants that wish to obtain a copy of the records about themselves maintained by the MEPS, a written request should be made to the Commander, U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, ATTN: MEHR-PR , 2834 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064-3094, or via email by using the MEPS “CONTACT” page. Be sure to include as a minimum, the full name, social security number, military status, or other information verifiable from the record itself additionally, the written request must contain the applicant’s signature.
What Is A Meps Definition Steps And Tips For Your Visit
Linda Thorburn is a copywriter who is now retired from the U.S. Army.
A visit to the military entrance processing station is one of the first things people do as they prepare to join the military. Prospective members of the military arent yet enlisted members of the United States armed forces when they enter the MEPS building, but they may become one before they leave. Learning what a MEPS is and the typical process when visiting one can help you prepare to join the military.
In this article, we explain what a MEPS is, describe how they work and list how you can prepare for processing.
Swearing In And Enlistment
Candidates who successfully meet the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery standards of the respective branch of service, a service liaison counselor will discuss job opportunities and the enlistment agreement. Service liaison counselors will explain each program and answer any questions.
Before swearing in and taking the oath of enlistment, a final interview, fingerprinting for an FBI check and pre-enlistment briefing will be completed. These pre-enlistment briefings include the military separation policy and pre-oath briefing. Afterwards, the oath is administered.
Family members are welcome to attend the enlistment ceremony and watch their new service member take the oath. The family may take photographs of the new military member along with the military officer who gives the oath.
For those who are entering the Delayed Entry Program or not enlisting at this time, transportation back home will be arranged by the recruiter. Anyone going straight into active duty will receive instructions on transportation arrangements to basic training.