Military Entrance: Shipping Out

Many are familiar with their first trip to MEPS.  Going to the Military Entrance Processing Station is a little intimidating for some there first time.  But then, after all the consultation and meetings, the discussions, and the decision, you have signed up.  You know where and when to report, and suddenly, that day has arrived.  It is time to actually head off to boot camp. Depending on where you live, the first thing you may have to do is to report to a hotel or motel the day before.  This is often referred to as the MEPS Contract Hotel. At some MEPS contract hotels upon arrival you will be asked to sign a very specific rules-of-conduct document.  Don’t be fooled, this is a serious thing, you don’t want to be violation of these common sense rules once you sign the consent card. Staying at the MEPS Hotel the first night is just the first step, but it is to be taken seriously. If you break the rules there, you may be returned home without being allowed to enlist further. Your second day will start early, likely around six am.  You have begun the process; there will be a lot of “hurry up and wait” in your Boot Camp experience, and also in your entire military career.  You will undergo a medical check.  Weight/Height measurements will be taken.  Females will likely have to provide a urine sample for a routine pregnancy exam.  There will be the first of many forms to fill out, and you will be asked if there have been any changes to your situation since your first trip to MEPS.  Do you have any new medical conditions?  Everyone will undergo a test called a blood alcohol screen to make sure that you are not intoxicated or under the influence.  If you are headed to the Marine Corps (only) there is a test called the Initial Strength Test, which you will have to pass before you can ship out to Marine Boot Camp. For everyone, you will have a review of your enlistment contract.  You will meet with a representative from the service you enlisted with. No matter what is in your delayed enlistment program, the contract you go over TODAY, at MEPS is the one that will apply.  So pay attention, and make sure that all the information is correct. You will review your Emergency Data Card and have one last chance during your Pre-ascension Interview to go over anything that has changes during your delayed enlistment.   Then, it’s off to boot camp.  So, are YOU ready??




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