MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) screens and processes applicants into the United States Armed Forces. There are currently 65 MEPS Stations located throughout the United States. MEPS is a joint service command under the direction of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, who in turn reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. MEPS is the gateway to the US Army, and is required for everyone entering, or re-entering, into any of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc.). MEPS Processing is usually done within a day. Depending on the distance to your local MEPS from where you live, the Army will pay for you to stay in a hotel overnight.
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:
- Blood pressure tests
- Pregnancy test (for women)
- Examination by a doctor
- Height and weight check
- Breathalyzer test
- Moral/background examination
- ASVAB Test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery 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 (Uniform Code of Military Justice — basically the Army laws) 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.
Do I have to get shots in MEPS?
This is a very popular question, so I’ve added it directly on this page. 99% of the time, NO, you do not have to get any shots at all in MEPS. You don’t have to worry about that until you get to your Army Reception Battalion.