What is the MEPS hearing test

An overview of the 2021 Military Inbound Processing Station - U.S. Military Careers

To join the military, two (or more) trips to the Military Entry Processing Station (MEPS) are required. At a minimum, you make one trip to MEPS for first processing, then the second trip to MEPS for final processing on the day you go to basic training.

MEPS is a joint division of the US Department of Defense staffed by military personnel and civilians. Your job is to assess an applicant's physical qualifications, aptitude, and moral standards as established by each branch of the military, the Department of Defense, and federal law. There are 65 MEPS facilities in the United States.

Pre-screening at MEPS

Your MEPS trip begins with a medical "pre-screening" carried out by your recruiter prior to your departure.

The recruiter sends the results of this screening to MEPS in advance and will be reviewed by MEPS medical staff.

If the pre-screening reveals a medical condition that is obviously disqualifying and there is no option to waive (e.g. if you are blind or missing a limb), processing will stop at that point. Some medical conditions require additional medical records.

The purpose of pre-screening is to identify these conditions so that your recruiter can help you obtain the necessary medical records before you travel to MEPS. This saves you the "temporary disqualification" and requires you to return later with the necessary documents for full qualification.

Some conditions that typically require medical reports include:

  • Almost any operation, except for a straightforward appendectomy or hernia repair, or ligation of male or female tubes
  • Most biopsies (skin, breast, etc.) of tumors and lumps require a tissue report.
  • Any other hospital story
  • Asthma after the age of 13
  • Counseling history (family, marriage, etc.)
  • Skin conditions other than mild acne and athlete's foot
  • Allergies if more than mild.
  • Sprains
  • ADD / ADHD
  • Severe joint sprain
  • Heart condition
  • Hepatitis, mononucleosis

The most useful medical records are hospital records.

Most medical reports are inadequate. Recruiters have been directed to use the standard MEPS request form as it lists the information required. Civilian doctors may not be aware of current military guidelines and requirements.

Preparation for MEPS

Once the preselection is approved, the recruiter will schedule your visit to MEPS. Here are some general rules to keep in mind:

  • Bring records of medical problems
  • Bring your social security card, birth certificate, and driver's license
  • Remove the earrings (they interfere with the headset used for the hearing test).
  • If you wear glasses or contacts, bring them with you with your prescription
  • Processing begins early at MEPS. You should therefore register in good time

Arrival at MEPS

For most applicants, the first trip to MEPS is a two-day process. On the afternoon of arrival, the applicant will take the computerized ASVAB tests. If you completed the ASVAB within 24 months of your MEPS trip and received qualification results, you do not need to repeat the test.

After completing ASVAB, if you don't live in the same area as your MEPS is in, you will be taken to a hotel and possibly assigned to a roommate. The accommodation and meals are paid for by MEPS.

When you check into the motel / hotel, you will be asked to sign a list of rules. While this varies by location, the rules include bans on the use of alcohol and drugs, lockdowns, noise restrictions, and similar restrictions. If you are caught breaking any of these rules it could end your military processing.

MEPS assessment

MEPS's primary role is to determine, under military regulations, guidelines, and federal law, whether you are qualified to serve in the U.S. Forces, and if so, what jobs you may qualify for under Individual Service regulations.

The MEPS staff will also determine if you are medically qualified. Additionally, representatives of the service area you are attending will be with MEPS to determine your professional and safety qualifications.

It is very important that you are completely honest during your visit to MEPS. If someone (including your recruiter) advised you to lie or withhold required information and you followed that advice, it could have serious consequences later on.

The first thing you should do at most MEPS locations is to do an alcohol test to make sure you are not under the influence of alcohol. Any trace of alcohol in your system will stop processing.

Medical assessment at MEPS

The physical begins with completing the medical questionnaire. After that, start the process. You will do a blood and urine test (including a drug test). Women are tested for pregnancy.

Your blood will be tested for HIV, hemoglobin, hematocrit, RPR, and alcohol. There are also two different urine tests. One is the legal drug urine and the other tests for pH, blood, protein, and specific gravity.

You will take a hearing test and an eye exam, including depth perception and color vision. (Note: Lack of depth perception and color perception is not a disqualifying factor for military service, but many military occupations require normal depth perception and color perception.) Air Force personnel will take a strength test (required for professional qualification).

You will be subjected to a weight control. If your weight exceeds the standard value of the service you want, you will be given a body fat measurement. If your body fat exceeds the standard set by the service you wish to participate in, you will be temporarily disqualified. However, you will proceed with the physical body.

At some point in the exam, you will be asked to strip down to your underwear (aren't you glad you wore them) along with the other recruits (sorry guys, but male recruits and female recruits are separate). You will then be instructed (as a group) to perform various exercises to assess balance and other physical characteristics.

If a waiver is required, it will be initiated and processed by the service you are trying to join, not the MEPS. Whether or not an exemption is approved and how long the approval / rejection takes vary widely. Each waiver is viewed individually, and approval depends on many individual factors, including the recommendation of the medical profile and the current requirements or needs of the particular military service.

Job selection at MEPS

During this phase, you will work with your service advisor to select a military job. The requirements and desires of the service and your preferences determine how long this process takes.

Remember, not everyone gets a guaranteed job at this point. This depends on the needs and general guidelines of the service.

After you have selected a job, the service advisor will take you and your documents to the MEPS Control Desk to initiate the processing of the registration.

At this point, you will be subjected to a pre-enlistment interview (PEI). During the PEI, the MEPS Military Processing Clerk (MPC) sits with you, "one-on-one" and privately. The MPC will fingerprint you and ask you questions about potential law violations, drug and alcohol abuse, and other issues that can affect your entry into the armed forces.

The MPC will inform you of the fraudulent drafting of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the restrictions on personal conduct during the Delayed drafting program (DEP). As soon as the PEI is completed, the MPC will create your call-up contract so that you can review it and sign it with your service advisor.

If you need additional tests for your job selection (for example Defense Language Aptitude Battery), it will usually be done at this point.

Convocation of the oath ceremony

After you and your service advisor have signed the contract, return to the MEPS Control Desk with the contract to take the oath of convocation.

Once you are prepared, a designated officer will take the oath of draft. Once the officer has determined that the applicant is ready to swear, he or she will take the oath of draft and sign the draft contract.

Your first trip to the MPs will be a long day. So make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before. Bring a book or magazine and understand there is a lot of "hurry up and wait".