Step 5: Process In At MEPS

Visit one of the network of 65 MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located nationwide and in Puerto Rico. This is where you go to enlist in the Army. Here you will find out if you qualify physically and choose a MOS. The MOS may impact where you are stationed for Basic Training. This is also where you will be sworn in to the United States Army.



Each applicant for military service is required to take the CAT-ASVAB, which measures aptitude in a broad range of career fields. A product of more than 50 years of research, the ASVAB is now available in both computerized (CAT-ASVAB) and traditional "paper and pencil" versions. Each service combines the test section results to produce its own unique scores for various career fields.

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.


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

You can see the height/weight and body fat charts to see where you fit in physically.

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.

Medical History

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 MEPS. And check to be sure you aren't disqualified for anything in your health history or current condition.

Meals & Lodging

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.

Decisions To Be Made

After you have met the physical and CAT-ASVAB 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 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. Those of you entering active duty will receive instructions on your transportation arrangements to basic training.

Feel free to ask questions during any part of your MEPS processing. Trained professionals want to help bring you closer to your goal of joining the armed forces team.


  • 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 earrings (they obstruct the headset used for the hearing test).
  • Profanity and offensive wording or pictures on clothing is 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.
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