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What Happens at MEPS?

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

Everyone who enlists in the military goes through a complete screening at one of the over 60 Military Entrance Processing Stations, or MEPS, located around the country. This process begins with potential enlistees completing paperwork with the recruiter at the local recruiting office, and it ends once future Marines arrive at their MEPS for evaluation and processing.


What is MEPS?

Military Entrance Processing Stations are located in many cities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The purpose of each MEPS is to determine the physical, mental, and moral qualifications of each prospective member of the armed services. Only qualified applicants are selected to serve as in the military, to include future Marines. Each MEPS is manned by medical and administrative uniformed personnel representing each of the armed services. Civilian support staff are also employed at MEPS locations. When future Marines attend MEPS they are required to complete the following:​

  • ASVAB Testing

  • Medical Examination

  • MOS Selection and Contracting

  • Oath of Enlistment

​The order in which future Marines complete steps at their respective MEPS may be different, but each enlistment process must include the above steps. Below we will discuss each.

ASVAB Testing

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, is an exam that tests individuals' proficiency in multiple academic areas. This test determines your eligibility to enlist in each of the military services and which Military Occupational Specialties you can be assigned. The ASVAB can be taken before MEPS, but many prospective Marines will take theirs at MEPS. To learn more, please check out our ASVAB page.


Medical Examination

To serve in the Marines, you must be medically qualified. This process begins before future Marines attend MEPS - they will complete screening paperwork with their recruiters. When individuals arrive at MEPS, they will review their screening information with medical and dental professionals (civilian or military) to ensure they are within standards for military service. Following an initial screening, individuals will complete a thorough examination which includes a battery of further screenings and tests. This exam will include:​

  • Height and Weight Measurements

  • Range of Motion Evaluation

  • Hearing Test

  • Vision Test

  • Drug and Alcohol Screening

  • Pregnancy Test (Females)

Failure to meet medical history screening or medical exam requirements will result in a disqualification. Potential Marines should not worry about this. Most conditions are eligible for waivers. Your recruiter will help you submit a waiver and continue the enlistment process to become a Marines.


MOS Selection and Contracting

Prospective Marines cannot select individual Military Occupational Specialties, or MOS's, but have the option to contract into specific fields, substantially improving their chances of getting their dream MOS. Options available to each candidate are dependent on what options are available in the Marine Corps on contracting, a candidate's ASVAB score, and their medical exam. Conditions such as color blindness can disqualify individuals for specific MOS's. The final factor to MOS selection is current manning throughout the Marine Corps in each MOS, which can often change on weekly, if not daily, basis. Candidates who signed a specific contract will have their selection validated after the medical exam. For those who have medical disqualifications for their MOS field, they are provided alternative options or allowed to request a waiver if applicable.


Oath of Enlistment

The final step of the MEPS process is the Oath of Enlistment. The oath is conducted as an individual or as a group of future servicemembers, and it is always led by a commissioned officer from a military branch. Each future Marine will recite and swear to the following oath:


I, (Candidate's 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.

Once applicants complete the oath and sign their final contract paperwork, they will either ship immediately to Recruit Training or will return to their recruiting station as a member of the Delayed Entry Program as a Poolee to await a departure date to training.





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