An Army Medical doctor conducts a physical exam at MEPS  An Army Medical doctor conducts a physical exam at MEPS

Processing Stations (MEPS)

Your visit to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) determines your mental aptitude, as well as physical and moral qualifications for enlistment in the Army.

A female Soldier at MEPS is involved in conversation A female Soldier at MEPS is involved in conversation

Your Visit to MEPS

  • All enlisted recruits are evaluated at MEPS
  • Your recruiter helps prepare you for MEPS
  • Evaluations include medical checks, physical evaluations, and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) if not previously taken
  • Takes between one and two days
  • Lodging and meals are provided for you

A recruit completes an eye exam at MEPS A recruit completes an eye exam at MEPS

What You Need to Accomplish at MEPS

Your eligibility to join the Army as an enlisted Soldier is evaluated at MEPS during a series of screenings and tests. These evaluations determine if you meet the physical, mental, and moral standards set by the Army.

First Day Expectations

The day starts with breakfast and a briefing on what you can expect that day. This gives you a chance to mentally prepare for the day ahead.

Medical Evaluation

All recruits complete a medical questionnaire and undergo an evaluation that includes height and weight measurements, hearing and vision exams, urine and blood tests, and drug and alcohol tests.
Female recruits: the physical exam takes place in a private room with a female attendant, and a drape or gown is provided. A pregnancy test is also required.

Physical Evaluation

Everyone entering the Army must be in good physical health to endure the challenges of Basic Training and military service. Recruits are asked to perform several exercises to evaluate balance and physical ability, which includes muscle group and joint maneuvers.

Take the ASVAB if You Haven’t Already

If not previously completed, you’ll take the ASVAB at MEPS. Your score helps determine the Army jobs that best match your skills and mental aptitude.

Placement Exam (ASVAB)

Find Your Army Job

After completing medical and physical evaluations, you’ll work with your Guidance Counselor to select an Army job. The jobs available to you depend on many factors, including your ASVAB scores and what positions are open at the time.

See All Jobs

Sign Your Contract

After selecting your job, you are fingerprinted and undergo a Pre-Enlistment Interview (PEI), where questions are asked that may determine ineligibility in joining. If enlisting in the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), personal conduct rules are communicated to you. With your Guidance Counselor, you will sign your enlistment contract at this time.

Take the Oath. Step into Your Future.

When all the above is completed, you will participate in the Oath of Enlistment ceremony. This ceremony is conducted by a commissioned Officer, who also signs your enlistment contract. While every enlisted Soldier takes the Oath of Enlistment, there is no mistaking the personal meaning this moment holds for each recruit—including you.

Tips to Prepare for MEPS

Before you go, there are some useful things you can do to prepare for your evaluations at MEPS. Documentation for medical conditions and citizenship are especially important to ensure you remain qualified.

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Helpful Resources

Additional resources are available to help prepare you for your day at MEPS. As always, let your recruiter know if you have questions to any topics not covered here.

Uniformed Soldiers stand at attention outdoors Uniformed Soldiers stand at attention outdoors

After You Sign

You are officially enlisted in the Army after you have been through all evaluations, passed the ASVAB, chosen your job, signed your contract, and taken the Oath of Enlistment.

Common Questions About MEPS

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/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, 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 need to undergo a quick height and weight (BMI) check before shipping out to Basic Training, but this is not as in-depth of an exam as the original physical.