I have experienced the grueling hours, constantly being asked the same questions over and over again, and being told that if you are hiding anything it’s counted as a Federal offense while joining the military. Below I share my tips on how to survive Meps, that I learned the hard way.
How to Survive Meps
At Meps they treat you like a heard of cattle. They get hundreds of applicants and shippers a week so they don’t have time to mess around. Their goal is to either get you sworn in or to stop your enlistment process quickly for whatever reason they can find. Your best bet is to keep your head down, stay silent and do exactly what they say – when they say – to do it. This will make the process go smoother and faster.
Before taking the ASVAB, buy a study book and some flash cards. Study your butt off and take lots of practice tests. Even if you are confident in passing the ASVAB, the higher your score the more job opportunities will open up. Some of the higher jobs come with bonuses, which equals more money. Study hard and do your best to ensure a better future
If you are staying at the hotel the night before, don’t pack your whole room for one night. You will be taking your items with you the next day to the Meps center and have to store it in a small locker. All you need is a tooth brush, phone charger, headphones, and a change of clothes for the next morning. When deciding what to pack, make sure your clothes are comfortable and that your undergarments provide full coverage. If you are a female and taking your physical make sure that you aren’t wearing a thong. You need to wear a bra with straps or a sports bra. I made this mistake the first time by wearing a strapless bra and, although it was full coverage, I couldn’t finish taking my physical that day.
If you have trouble peeing in front of people, like I do, you are going to want to push liquids starting the night before. You don’t know exactly when the urine analysis part of the physical will be. You may want to skip the morning bathroom run so that you will be able to do the urine analysis when it comes time. Also if you faint at the sight of needles or having your blood drawn don’t keep that a secret, because you don’t want to have the enlistment process stopped for the day. I can promise you if you end up passing out, without letting them know ahead of time, that’s a sure way to not be sworn in that day.
Make sure that you eat a good breakfast that morning, because even though Meps provides you a lunch, the food sucks. Meps isn’t fun and you are going to be exhausted by the time you are done, but it’s worth it. Just suck it up and keep your head held high, because this is what you have been working for. If you are prepared to fight for your country, go off to basic training, and possibly be deployed – then you can get through this.
If something happens with your testing or during your physical preventing you from swearing in that day, don’t let that discourage you. I got delayed by six months for a mishap. Then I had to wait another three days after the six months, because I wasn’t wearing the right bra for the physical. Don’t let a set back keep you from pursuing your dreams. Keep on pushing and working towards your goals. Almost everything has a solution and can be fixed with a little effort.
Meps is just a small stepping stone to your military career. Get through the full process, sign your contracts, and you will be on your way to basic in no time.
Do you have a tip to share on how to survive Meps?