WHAT IS MEPS?
MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) is part of the enlistment process where you will take your ASVAB (if you haven’t already), and get your medical and physical evaluations done. Once complete you will list jobs based on what you qualify for and then swear in to the Delayed Entry Program (DEP).
This page has all the detailed information you need regarding your day of MEDICAL processing at MEPS. Your recruiter will go over important details regarding transportation, dress code and testing at your PRE-MEPS briefing.
Your PRE-MEPS briefing will be held before your processing, either in person or virtually. After your briefing you will either go directly to MEPS for testing or to the hotel. Please check with your recruiter to see if transportation is available to the hotel or MEPS. On the day of processing you will take the hotel shuttle bus to MEPS at approximately 0500 and will be processing all day long. You will need to secure transportation to pick you up from MEPS on the day of processing.
PRE-MEPS Briefing: Bring a change of clothes for processing: follow all dress code regulations listed below!
I understand that I’m going to the Houston MEPS to JOIN THE UNITED STATES ACTIVE DUTY AIR FORCE and enter the UNITED STATES AIR FORCE Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP). I know what day I am scheduled for processing through MEPS. I know what time I need to meet at the recruiting office for a PRE-MEPS briefing. I know that if I am late…I will NOT process.
Bring all original documents: social, birth certificate, ID and high school diploma. If you have college and/or high school transcripts (original/official versions) bring those. If you are married, bring your marriage license (original) and spouse’s birth certificate (original), social security card (original) and a copy of their ID. If you are divorced bring your divorce decree (original). If you have dependents, bring each dependent’s birth certificate (original) and social security card (original). Remember all documents must be originals or certified copies.
Houston MEPS is located: 701 South San Jacinto, Houston TX 77052
Hotel: Holiday Inn Intercontinental, 15222 JFK Blvd, Houston TX 77032
Parking at the Houston MEPS and surrounding areas is managed by numerous agencies. Paid parking is limited and prices vary from $16 to $80 per day before parking citations and towing are applied. The lot directly across the street from MEPS is currently $16/day. Applicants who insist on driving themselves are encouraged to park outside the MEPS in daily rate lots and avoid hourly rate spots/lots, they will not be allowed to pause processing to move their vehicle or feed the meter. Family members and friends who wish to attend enlistment ceremonies should be made aware of the parking situation before arriving. * Applicants are discouraged from driving themselves to MEPS – secure transportation or talk to your recruiter if you are having trouble finding a ride *
Applicant Dress / Conduct Code
The Houston MEPS promotes a professional environment and requires applicants to dress in a manner representative of the organization they are enlisting into as agreed upon by the Inter-service Recruitment Committee. Applicants who violate this standard will not process. Applicants should not bring large suitcases to the Hotel or MEPS, doing so slows down the security screening process. This includes applicants bringing video game systems (PS4/XBOX) to the Hotel/MEPS, these items slow down the security screening process which inevitably impacts processing schedules.
Outerwear will be conservative and in good taste. Attire must fit properly, be clean, neat, and free from rips, tears, and holes. Clothing should not contain words, designs, or pictures that are objectionable, prejudicial, obscene, or contrary to good order and discipline. Articles of clothing that are see-through, skin tight, hip-hugging, excessively short skirts or dresses, or other such type of clothing are not allowed. Dresses, skirts, and shorts may be no shorter than the top of the kneecap while standing upright. Garments such as any type of sleeveless shirt, tops exposing the abdomen, and other such abbreviated garments are not allowed. Applicants may not wear low-cut, scoop neck, or V-neck tops that expose cleavage. The back, front, and upper arm must be covered. Gym attire (sweats, gym shorts, yoga pants, etc.) is not allowed. This includes tights, leggings, or other types of hosiery worn as outer wear. Military uniforms, in whole or part, are not authorized for wear while processing (to include official PT gear or JROTC gear).
Headgear will not be worn while inside the MEPS (exceptions for religion will be made on case by case basis). Footwear must be closed-toe and of a design that will not create a safety or health hazard while walking. Applicants must wear modest undergarments as there are times during the medical examination when only undergarments are worn. Thongs, G-strings, or any type of spandex or compression shorts are not authorized for males or females. Boxers and briefs are not to extend past the mid-thigh. No piercings or excessive jewelry will be worn. Other jewelry may be asked to be removed during medical processing. The MEPS Operations Officer has the final determination should a question arise.
In addition to dress, applicants will behave in a manner consistent with military bearing and professionalism. The MEPS is a professional environment where its staff is expected to conduct business in an efficient manner. Profanity, vulgar, or any language or behavior that is deemed offensive and detracts from a climate free of discrimination will not be tolerated. Cell phones will only be used on the third floor and will be stored in either the liaison office or the baggage room within the applicant’s bag/suitcase. Any food and drink will be consumed in the cafeteria, USO, lounges, or stored in the baggage room. Applicants will not chew gum, fall asleep, lean on walls or banners, place feet on the furniture, walk around with hands in pockets, etc. Any misconduct is reason for removal and permanent disqualification.
Full Physicals – Things you should know!
• Applicants with any open wound or sickness, regardless of how severe, will not process
• Females are authorized to physical while on their menstrual cycle
• Piercings are not authorized; other conservative jewelry is authorized, although they may be asked to remove it for the physical; applicants with long hair should bring a hair tie
• Acrylic nails and fingernail polish is authorized; however extremely long nails are not allowed due to capturing of biometric data (fingerprints)
• To expedite visual testing, contacts should not be worn to the medical section; we request applicants wear glasses instead; we do not have an area for applicants to remove contacts
• Applicants should avoid taking any medications, including herbal supplements, that contain diuretics or other ingredients used to promote weight loss
• Applicants should refrain from loud noises (ear buds, hunting, construction sites, etc.) 48 hours prior to physical; this will ensure the best possible audio test for the applicant
• Urinalysis does not begin until AFTER the Commander’s and Medical Briefs (usually around 0830) and after testing for Same-Day-Processors(1100); do not have applicants hold ‘it’ from the time they wake up; hydrate well the morning of processing
• Proper hydration will assist in a more accurate reading of protein and sugar in urine and may prevent holdovers
• Must obtain 45ml of ‘observed’ urine for urinalysis; applicants who cannot urinate in front of others should not come for medical processing until they are more comfortable
• All applicants will be heighted/weighted when they report to medical if it has been over 30 days since their last height/weight
• Please inform applicants of the visualization requirement of genitals and anus (see examination information sheets)
• All females will receive a breast exam and a pregnancy test when they report to medical
• During the medical brief a breathalyzer is performed on all applicants; if positive results are found, processing will cease
• In order to facilitate proper examination hygiene is mandatory; please inform your applicants to shower and brush their teeth the morning of their medical exams
• If body odor, to include halitosis (bad breath), disrupts applicant processing, processing will cease
• The hotel provides all the necessities to ensure applicants arrive at the MEPS prepared for a full medical exam, please encourage your applicant to shower/hygiene
• Full coverage underwear is required for females; no ‘bootie shorts’, thongs, G-strings, etc.
• Boxers, boxer briefs, and briefs for males are acceptable
• Compression, spandex, or any other type of exercise shorts are not authorized undergarments
MEPS: NEED TO KNOW
MEPS is an important part and you will be briefed by your recruiter about what to expect in full detail. This is a basic guide on what to expect but each individual will have their own specific requirements so use this only as a basic guide. Remember MEPS is looking for a reason to disqualify you so follow your recruiters guidance.
- Trust your recruiter. We are not doing all this work to get you here to set you up for failure. If you don’t disclose something to them, and then bring it up at MEPS, you will be disqualified and significantly delay your process. This briefing is the time to bring up anything you forgot, not at MEPS!
- Remember you represent yourself, your recruiter, and the Air Force down there. Make a good impression.
- The morning you process you will wake up at the hotel around 3:45 am. Go to bed early the night before. You need to move with a sense of purpose at MEPS and can’t be moving sluggish or falling asleep.
- When you wake up you will shower and get dressed. Make sure you are cleaned up as dirty or stinky applicants may be turned away. While in the shower let warm water run in each ear for a few moments to melt any ear wax down. Don’t use a cotton swab as it can push the wax deeper in your ear and prevent the staff from seeing your ear drum.
- Brush your teeth but DO NOT use mouthwash. If it has alcohol in it you will fail the breathalyzer.
- For breakfast, no coffee, orange juice, or pork products (bacon, ham, sausage) as these can cause you to fail your blood test. Stick to water.
- Urinalysis. When you get to MEPS early in the process they will ask who needs to go to the bathroom. Try not to go before arriving at MEPS so that you can do this first thing. You will be required to provide a urine sample in a cup while an observer watches you. If you don’t complete it within a few hours of arriving you will have to stay another night and do a second day at MEPS to try again. If a sample is not obtained within 72 hours of you arriving, you are automatically disqualified for 6 months. Just pee in the cup! If you have used marijuana within 60 days of going to MEPS, let your recruiter know so he/she can reschedule you. A failed drug test is a permanent disqualification from the military.
- You will be doing the TAPAS personality test. If you indicate things like a fear of spiders for example, it should be a real, diagnosed phobia. These answers will affect what jobs you qualify to do.
- You will have your blood drawn, don’t pass out. Look away if you need to but if you can’t handle a needle, you will be disqualified.
- Your vision will be checked including your vision level (20/20, 20/40, etc.), color vision, and finally depth perception. Depth perception has a high failure rate based on the equipment used. This test will have a series of dots in a row. There are 5 dots per row and one is elevated closer to you. Your job is to identify which one. If you struggle on it, try crossing your eyes, blinking rapidly several times, looking around the edge (use peripheral vision), or imagine something in the background and focus on that.
- The hearing test will have you in a booth with headphones on. You will have a button in each hand. When you hear a beep in the left ear, press the left button, if a beep in the right ear, press the right button. Do NOT use headphones/earbuds 48 hours prior to arrival at MEPS. This can cause you to do poorly or even fail this test. If you are hearing noises from outside your testing booth (like a printer or other people talking) and it’s interfering with your ability to hear the beeps, let the test administrator know! If they don’t help you, let the Air Force liaisons know you had issues in the hearing test booth.
- Your medical exam will go over all your questions from your DD From 2807-2 (the form you signed with your recruiter that has 164 medical questions) to make sure it’s accurate and there is nothing more to add. You will be asked the same questions in different ways to see if you think up anything else. Any new medical information provided at MEPS will result in you being disqualified and you will need to provide medical records to your recruiter for submission to the doctors for review. This can potentially add weeks or months to the process. Tell your recruiter before going to MEPS!
- The rest of the physical portion is similar to a sports physical. Everyone will get their genitals examined. Men, turn your head and cough. Women, you’ll be on an exam table in stirrups. The doctor will also look inside your rectum. Women will also have a breast exam.
- Your final physical test is the X-Factor test with the Air Force liaisons. You must lift weight above your head. The more you lift, the more you qualify for. Aim for at least 70 lbs.
- You will meet with a security investigator to review your background information which will then be sent off for your security clearance investigation.
- The final step is to swear in to the Delayed Entry Program! If you make it to this point, good job! You’ve completed the hardest part!
- Once the swear-in is over you will need to have someone pick you up from MEPS to take you home!
After you are done, contact me so I can be the first to congratulate you and give you further instructions!