The Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is where your real qualifications for joining the Air Force are determined. MEPS is a Department of Defense “joint-operation” and is staffed with military and civilian professionals of all the branches. It plays a vital role in maintaining that our military meets the high mental, moral and medical standards required by the Department of Defense and the Air Force.
There are 65 MEPS located across the U.S. Normally, the MEPS process takes two days. Depending on how far the nearest MEPS is from where you live, you may have to stay overnight in a contract hotel.
MEPS personnel take you through the five steps to enlistment processing and more!
Unless you already have a valid Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score, you’ll usually take the ASVAB on the afternoon you arrive. The ASVAB is used by the Air Force primarily for two purposes:
- to determine if you have the mental capability to be successful through basic training and other Air Force training programs, and
- to determine your aptitude for learning various Air Force jobs.
You may have already taken the ASVAB in high school or for enlistment purposes. If so, tell your recruiter or your test administrator, because you may not be required to take the test.
Everyone entering the armed forces must be in good health to endure the challenges of basic training and military service. Your physical examination will test things such as blood, urine, muscle groups, joint maneuvers, hearing, eyesight and more. The MEPS will provide a drape or gown during the physical examination if you’re a woman. 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 CAT-ASVAB standards of the Air Force, a service liaison counselor will tell you about job opportunities and the enlistment agreement.
A final interview, fingerprinting for a 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.
If you are entering the Delayed Entry Program, or not enlisting at this time, return transportation to your home will be coordinated by your recruiter. Otherwise, you will receive instructions on your transportation arrangements to basic training.
Meals and/or overnight lodging accommodations, if needed, will be arranged for you. Most applicants will share a room with another applicant and are expected to be considerate of other guests and hotel property. You will pay only for extras, such as telephone calls.
- 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 CAT-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.