Once you’ve discussed enlistment with a recruiter and decided to move forward, you’ll be given a date to visit a Military Enlistment Processing Station (MEPS) to complete the enlistment process. MEPS is a two to three day event after which you may officially enlist once you’ve met all requirements. At MEPS, you will be expected to:
- Take the ASVAB. The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is a multiple question assessment that will help identify careers that may suit you best. If you have already taken the ASVAB at your high school, inform your recruiter to see if you need to take it again.
- Pass the physical Exam. The physical requirements vary among the different branches of the military (speak to your recruiter for specifics), but you will be expected to be in good physical shape. There will also be a medical examination similar to a regular checkup at your doctor’s office, as well as a drug test.
- Meet with a counselor. At this point, potential recruits speak with a service enlistment counselor to go over the enlistment agreement and discuss job placement possibilities. Be sure to consider the enlistment agreement carefully before signing; this is a serious commitment!
- Take the Oath of Enlistment. Your family will be invited to watch you take the following vows:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
After MEPS, one of two things will happen. Depending on the terms of your enlistment, you may Direct Ship (deport shortly to basic training) or enter the Delayed Entry Program (return home but commit to deport within a year. This is typically the case for those who commit to enlistment before finishing high school).
Additional MEPS info:
• Bring your driver’s license, birth certificate and Social Security card.
• Remove all piercings.
• If you wear glasses or contacts, bring them with you.
• Eat well and get a good night’s rest the day before.
• Arrive early!