Learn How to Join


The primary job of Military Entrance Processing Station 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. Your recruiter will do some MEPS prescreening, and once that clears, an appointment with your local MEPS can be made. A day at MEPS can and will be a long day of testing and screening, so be prepared for a long day of "hurry up and wait."


Every applicant for military service must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which measures aptitude in a broad range of career fields. You may have taken the ASVAB in high school or for enlistment purposes. If so, be sure to tell your recruiter. If you have not completed this test, time is set aside at MEPS for you to so. Find out more about the ASVAB.


Physical examinations are vitally important because everyone entering the armed forces must be in good health to endure the challenges of basic training and military service. You will have to remove your outer clothing during parts of the examination.

Your physical examination consists of:

  • Height and weight measurements
  • Hearing and vision examinations
  • Urine and blood tests
  • Drug and alcohol tests
  • Muscle group and joint maneuvers, in underclothing
  • Complete physical examination and interview
  • Specialized test, if required
  • Medical technicians will give you instructions on how to complete a questionnaire on your medical history before the physical examination begins. You may find it helpful to talk with your parents about any childhood diseases or medical problems you have experienced before going to the Military Entrance Processing Station.

For Women Only: The MEPS will provide a drape or gown for you during the physical examination. Your visit with the physician will be in a private room. Underclothing is required during your physical. A female attendant will accompany you when you must remove your clothing. You will also be given a pregnancy test.


After you have met the physical and Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery standards of the branch of service you have selected, a service liaison counselor will tell you about job opportunities and the enlistment agreement. You are making important decisions and need to be informed. Service liaison counselors can explain each program and answer your questions. When in doubt . . . ask!

A final interview, fingerprinting for an FBI check and pre-enlistment briefing will be completed before you take the oath of enlistment. Members of your family are welcome to watch you take the oath. A waiting room is available for them. Your family may take photographs of you with the military officer who gives you the oath.


  • Discuss any childhood medical problems with your parents and bring documentation with you.
  • Bring your Social Security card, birth certificate and driver's license.
  • Remove all piercings.
  • Profanity and offensive wording or pictures on clothing are not tolerated.
  • Hats are not permitted inside the MEPS.
  • If you wear either eyeglasses or contacts, bring them along with your prescription and lens case.
  • Bathe or shower the night before your examination.
  • Wear underclothes.
  • Get a good night's sleep before taking the ASVAB.
  • Wear neat, moderate, comfortable clothing.
  • Don't bring stereo headphones, watches, jewelry, excessive cash or any other valuables.
  • Ask your recruiter for a list of recommended personal items to bring to basic training.
  • Processing starts early at the MEPS — You must report on time.