Processing & Screening (MEPS)

Here’s what to expect at MEPS.

As an enlisted recruit, you’ll go to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to determine if you meet all the standards to join the Army, choose your job, sign your contract, and take the oath. The process takes one to two days and includes lodging and meals. 

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How to prepare

Here are some important things to know about MEPS and ways you can prepare for your evaluations and processing.

Medical history and documentation

Let your recruiter know about any past medical conditions and bring relevant documentation. You’ll also need to bring your Social Security card, birth certificate, and driver’s license.

Lodging and meals

Your recruiter will help you find the MEPS location nearest to you. Lodging, meals, and transportation to and from MEPS will be provided.

What to wear

Wear comfortable, but presentable clothing and underwear—no offensive wording or pictures. Be sure to remove all piercings and don’t wear a hat.

Personal items

Only bring items suggested by your recruiter. If you wear eyeglasses or contacts, bring them along with your prescription and lens case. Leave behind any valuables or weapons.

Self care

Get plenty of sleep the night before for the early morning start and long day ahead. Please be sure to bathe the night before your examinations.

Talk with your recruiter

Your recruiter will help prepare you for MEPS by answering your questions and ensuring you arrive with the proper documentation.


You officially become an enlisted Soldier in the Army after you’ve completed all the evaluations, passed the ASVAB, chosen your job, signed your contract, and taken the Oath of Enlistment.

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Common questions about processing and screening.

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What can disqualify you at MEPS?

Any disqualifications that appear during your MEPS physical exam or interview may prevent you from joining the Army. These disqualifications can include illegal drug use, alcohol dependence, not meeting height and weight requirements, having certain contagious diseases, among others.

Additionally, law violations can prevent you from enlisting, such as being convicted of any crime that prohibits you from carrying a firearm.

Many conditions require a medical report, and it’s best to obtain these reports prior to your arrival at MEPS so you can complete the full process. Your recruiter can also help you obtain medical records before MEPS and help you complete any waivers, if needed.

Where do you stay for MEPS, and can your parents/guardians come with you?

With 65 MEPS located nationwide(Opens in new window), you will work with your recruiter to find one nearest your home. The Army provides lodging at a hotel near the MEPS location for those needing accommodations. This also gives you a chance to get settled and get to know other recruits.

Your parents/guardians are allowed to accompany you to MEPS but are not allowed in the area where the processing and examinations take place. During the Oath of Enlistment ceremony, parents, family, and guests are welcomed to watch and take pictures.

If you had a medical condition in the past, can you still go to MEPS?

There are many medical conditions that require a waiver to allow you to serve. Be sure to share all your medical history with your recruiter, so they can help you get the proper documentation and waiver(s) if needed. Failure to do so can result in delays at MEPS or even disqualification from enlistment.

How long is a MEPS physical good for?

Your MEPS physical is good for two years. If you do the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), you will conduct a shortened exam on the day you ship out to Basic Training to ensure nothing has changed with your physical qualification since enlistment.

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