Saturday, April 14, 2018

A to Z Challenge - M is for Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

A Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is where applicants for military service go to complete the enlistment process. There are 65 MEPS in the United States and Puerto Rico. Applicants who must travel a distance will receive free lodging at a nearby hotel. Meals and transportation are also provided at no cost.

Nicknamed “Freedom’s Front Door,” MEPS are staffed with military and civilian professionals who carefully screen each applicant to ensure he or she meets the physical, academic, and moral standards set by each Service.

Each applicant goes through the following steps:

-Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) testing
-Career Counseling
-Physical Exam
-Background Screening
-Oath of Enlistment

Following the Oath, an applicant is now a full member of the US Military. At this point, he or she may ship directly to Basic Training for his or her branch, or enroll in the Delayed Entry (or Enlistment) Program (DEP) and undergo training at a future time. It can be a long day, and a lot happens quickly, but applicants are briefed at every step by MEPS staff, and there is always help available should questions arise.

Joining the military requires two (or more) trips to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). At a very minimum, you make a trip to MEPS for initial processing, then the second trip to MEPS for final processing on the day you ship out to basic training.

If you do not live in the same local area where your MEPS is located, you first complete the ASVAB and then you're taken to a contract hotel. Hotel accommodations vary from location to location. Some are motel accommodations (discount, Motel-6 type) and others are outstanding (4-star rating). Generally, you are assigned a roommate. The lodging and meals are paid for by MEPS. You pay only for extras, such as telephone calls, in-room movies, in-room Internet access, etc. (if available).

Your wake-up call the next morning comes very early (usually about 0445). You have very little time to dress, eat, and be at the designated location for the shuttle back to MEPS. The entire morning of the first full day is usually scheduled for a medical examination.

My son went three times.  His recruiter picked him up each time and drove him to San Diego, and he stayed at a very nice hotel (with a gym!). 

First visit

Second visit

More information:

What's next for N?
N is for National Guard.  What is the National Guard?  What do they do?  Are they "real" military?  Come back Monday and find out!


  1. My son ended up in Los Angeles--no 4-star hotel there! But it was as you say here. RT.

    1. It was my son's first time in a hotel that nice. With a gym! Please thank your son for his service.