Military Entrance Processing Station

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Military Entrance Processing Station


275 New Custom House

19th and Stout St.
Denver, CO 80202
 Phone: (303) 623-1020 ext. 223



MEPS at a Glance

An Overview of the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

Joining the Military requires at least one (or more) trips to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). At a very minimum, you make 1 trip to MEPS for initial medical screening, and another trip if it is determined you need a specialist consultation.

MEPS is a Department of Defense joint-service organization staffed with military and civilians. Their job is to determine an applicant's physical qualifications, aptitude and moral standards as set by each branch of military service, the Department of Defense, and federal law. There are 65 MEPS facilities located throughout the United States.

Prescreening. Your trip to MEPS begins with a medical "prescreening" performed by your OSO. The OSO sends the results of this screening to MEPS, in advance, to be reviewed by MEPS medical personnel. If the prescreening shows a medical condition which is obviously disqualifying, with no chance of a waiver (example, you are blind, or missing a limb), then your processing stops at that point. Some medical conditions require additional medical records. The prescreening is designed to identify those conditions so that your OSO can help you obtain required medical records BEFORE your trip to MEPS. This saves you from being "temporarily disqualified," requiring that you return later with the necessary records for full qualification.

While not all-inclusive, medical conditions which usually require medical reports (documentation from the physician, hospital, etc.) are:

  • Almost any surgery other than an uncomplicated appendectomy or hernia repair, or ligation of tubes, male or female. Absolutely any surgery of the brain, back, spinal cord, chest, upper abdomen, pelvis, and joints. A tissue report is required in the case of most biopsies (skin, breast, etc.) of tumors and lumps.

  • Any history of hospitalization other than the exceptions listed directly above, even if it was only 1 or 2 days for tests.

  • Asthma.

  • History of counseling (family, marriage, etc.).

  • Skin diseases other than mild acne and athletes foot.

  • Allergies if more than mild.

  • Back sprains.

  • Severe joint sprains.

  • Heart conditions.

  • Hepatitis, mononucleosis.

The most useful medical records are the hospital records. Generally, they are the most easily obtained, of better quality, and are kept available for a longer time. Generally, the information needed is:

  • Discharge summary.

  • Surgeon's report.

  • Pathologist's report.

  • History and physical.

  • X-ray and laboratory reports.

Most doctors' letters are inadequate. OSOs have been instructed to use the standard MEPS request form, as it lists the required information. Be aware that all too many civilian doctors are unaware of current directives, have no concept of what military training and duty is like, and will be strongly biased in favor of the applicant. MEPS is aware of this, and may require that a consult be performed with one of their own specialists (military or contract).

Military Accession Weight Standards

Air Force Weight Chart - Males
Air Force Weight Chart - Females
Army Weight Chart - Males
Army Weight Chart - Females
Navy Weight Chart - Male/Female
Marine Corps Weight Chart - Male
Marine Corps Weight Chart - Female

Body-fat standards for each of the services are:

Male 17-30 - 24%
Male 21-27 - 26%
Male 28-39 - 28%
Male 40+ - 30%
Female 17-30 - 30%
Female 21-27 - 32%
Female 28-39 - 34%
Female 40 + - 36%

Air Force:
Male 17-29 - 20%
Male 30 + - 24%
Female 17-29 - 28%
Female 30 + - 32%

Male - 22%
Female - 33%

Marine Corps:
Male - 18%
Females - 26%

Once MEPS has given the OSO the "okay" on the prescreening, the OSO will schedule your visit to MEPS. Here are some general rules to remember that apply to your visit:

 Discuss any childhood medical problems with your parents and bring documentation with you.

  1. Bring your Social Security card and driver's license.

  2. Remove earrings (they obstruct the headset used for the hearing test).

  3. Profanity and offensive wording or pictures on clothing is not tolerated.

  4. Hats are not permitted inside the MEPS.

  5. If you wear either eyeglasses or contacts, bring them along with your prescription and lens case.

  6. Bathe or shower the night before your examination.

  7. Wear underclothes.

  8. Get a good night's sleep before taking the CAT-ASVAB.

  9. Wear neat, moderate, comfortable clothing.

  10. Don't bring stereo headphones, watches, jewelry, excessive cash or any other valuables. Don’t bring any item with you that you would not be allowed to carry on an airline (sharp objects/knives/firearms, etc !!!!)

  11. Processing starts early at the MEPS - You must report on time

If you do not live in the same local area where your MEPS is located, you will be taken to a contract hotel. Generally, you will be assigned a roommate. The lodging accommodations and meals are paid for by MEPS. You will pay only for extras, such as telephone calls, in-room movies, in-room Internet access, etc. (If available). MEPS arranges contracts with motel/hotels which are in the immediate vicinity of the MEPS. This means accommodations vary from location to location. Some facilities where the motel accommodations were not the best (discount, motel-6 type), and other MEPS have accommodations are truly outstanding (4-star rating). When you check into the motel/hotel, you will generally be instructed to sign receipt of a list of rules. While this varies location-to-location, the rules include prohibitions for use of alcohol/drugs, curfew provisions, noise restrictions, etc. In general, it shouldn't be anything you can't live with (you'll have much tougher restrictions in OCS). You should know that if you get caught violating any of these rules, it could terminate your processing in the military.

Arrival at MEPS. Most applicants will take the Computerized ASVAB Test. If you've already taken the ASVAB before your MEPS trip, and received qualifying scores, and the ASVAB test is less than 24 months old, you won't be required to retest. Exactly when you'll see your ASVAB scores is dependent upon the MEPS. Usually scores are available the same morning.

Your wake up call the next morning will come very early (usually about 0445). You'll have scant time to, dress, eat, and be at the designated location for the shuttle back to MEPS.

The entire morning is usually scheduled for medical examination. This is a "hurry up & wait," situation. You'll spend a lot of time "waiting your turn." I suggest bringing a book or magazine.

Medical Physical. The physical begins with the completion of the Standard Form (SF) 2808/2807, Report of Medical History. It's important that you complete this form completely, and honestly. You will be required to answer "Yes," "No," or "I Don't Know" about medical conditions you have had in the past, or currently have. If you are SURE you have/had had the condition listed, answer "Yes." If you are SURE you've never had the condition listed, you should answer "NO." If you think you MIGHT HAVE HAD the condition listed, but don't know for sure, you should answer "I Don't Know." (You'll then discuss this with the medical officer during your personal consultation). Do not use the "I Don't Know" block if you don't understand the question. Ask the available medical technician(s) for clarification.

After completing the SF 2808/7, you'll start the "process."

You will take a blood and urine test (including a test for drugs). Females will be tested for pregnancy. You'll take a hearing test, and an eye exam, including depth perception and color vision. (Note: Lack of depth perception & color vision is not a disqualifying factor for military service, but many military jobs require normal depth perception and color vision). Air Force personnel will take a strength test (required for job qualification).

You'll undergo a weight check (See above chart). If your weight exceeds the standard listed by the service you are trying to join, you'll undergo a body-fat-measurement. If your body-fat exceeds the standard set by the service you are trying to join, you'll be temporarily disqualified (Note: You will continue with the physical, however).

At one point in the examination, you will be required to strip down to your underwear (aren't you glad you wore those) along with the other recruits (Sorry, guys, but male recruits & female recruits are separated). You'll then be instructed (as a group) to perform a bunch of funny exercises, as follows:


Physician: Observes each examine for:

1. Stand relaxed with arms to the side, heels together, feed spread at a right angle of 90 degrees.

a. General body habitus
b. Clinically significant scars and skin abnoralities
c. Pes Planus, Pes cavus, hallux valgus, hammer toes, and other food deformities
d. Pelvic tilt
e. Scoliosis and kyphosis
f. Leg length discrepancies

2. Make full arm circles by extending arms forward, rotating above the head, back, and down to complete full circles. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Limitation of motion, subluxation of shoulders
b. Pain or apprehension

3. Fully extend arms out laterally at right angles to body, palms up and elbows locked.

a. Full extension of elbows
b. Deltoid weakness

4. Flex elbows and touch thumbs to shoulder. Repeat rapidly until told to stop.

a. Degree of flexion of elbows
b. Coordination

5. Extend arms to the ceiling and lower sharply to side of the body without slapping the sides. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Position and movement of scpulae
b. Subluxation of shoulders

6. Extend arms in front, palms together, thumbs up; throw away arms forcefully to the rear, slightly above shoulder level, and simultaneously raise body onto toes. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Symmetry and coordination of shoulders, clavicles, and arms
b. Pain or apprehension
c. Subluxation of shoulders
d. General coordination and balance

7. Stand relaxed, extend arms above head, locking thumbs together, bend over forward and touch the floor with fingertips, if able, keeping the knees straight.

a. Scoliosis
b. Other spin abnormalities

8. Stand up straight, extend one leg forward, lifting feet from the floor, toes down, then up; then relax toes and rotate feet at the ankle. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Range of motion of toes and ankle
b. Coordination and balance

9. Flex right thigh at hip, brining the knee up; flex lower leg at the knee; then forcefully lower the foot, kicking down and forward. Repeat until told to stop. Then repeat the maneuver with the knee up and flexed, this time kicking down and rearward. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Knee joint integrity and stability
b. Pain or apprehension

10. Repeat maneuvers 8 and 9, above with the opposite leg.

11. Stand on toes as high as possible, and walk on tiptoes five steps forward. Turn and walk on tiptoes five steps to original position.

a. Range of plantar flexion
b. Balance
c. Coordination
d. Weakness

12. Stand and walk on heels five steps forward, with forefeet as high as possible. Turn and walk on heels five steps to original position.

a. Range of plantar flexion
b. Balance
c. Coordination
d. Weakness

13. Stand straight, then squat sharply several times, stop in squatting position, and then duck walk five steps forward, heel toe sequence; turn and duck walk back five steps to original position.

a. Integrity of knees and hip joints
b. Lateral patellar motion
c. Hesitancy
d. Balance

14. In squatting position, one at a time drop on knees, with both knees hitting the floor simultaneously, and then walk on knees five steps and stop.

a. Simultaneous drop
b. Pain
c. Hesitancy
d. Apprehension

15. At kneeling position, tuck toes under and one at a time raise to standing position in one smooth motion, without touching the floor with hands.

a. Coordination
b. Balance
c. Quadriceps strength
d. Unilateral weakness

16. Flex one leg to the rear, grasp the ankle with ipsilateral hand, and plantar flex the foot.

a. Plantar scars, plantar warts, and other abnormalities
b. Balance

17. Repeat maneuver 16, above with opposite foot.

18. With elbows against body, flex elbows to right angles, palms up, extend and spread the fingers.

a. Forearm supination
b. Palms and fingers for scars, contracture, symmetry, missing fingers and parts

19. With palms up, repeatedly flex and extend fingers, make a fist.

a. Mobility and range of motion of digits
b. Ability to make a fist

20. Turn palms down and extend fingers, with elbows remaining at right angles and against the body.

a. Forearm pronation
b. Scars, contracture, symmetry, missing fingers

21. Turn palm up and touch each finger in turn to the thumb, continue until told to stop.

a. Mobility and range of digits
b. Coordination

22. Turn palms down, fingers extended, and repeatedly flex and extend hands at the wrists. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Range of motion of wrists
b. Pain and apprehension

23. Turn palms down, fingers extended, flex hands at the wrist rapidly and ulnarly. Repeat until told to stop.

a. Wrist range of motion
b. Pain, apprehension, and other abnormalities

24. Walk briskly, one by one, in straight line toward the examiner, stop in front of the examiner, turn, and walk away from the examiner.

a. Gait abnormalities
b. Limp
c. Other postural abnormalities

As part of the medical examination, you will also be personally interviewed by a physician. If, based on your medical history, the physician requires a rectal, or pelvic examination, it will be done at this time, in private.

A quick caution here: The MEPS physician's job is to determine your medical qualifications for military duty. He/she is not your family physician, and is not there to counsel you about your medical concerns. While you MUST be entirely honest when you complete the medical questionnaire and when you answer the physician's questions, it is not wise to attempt to use the MEPS doctor as a “second opinion” for any new or old medical questions or issues. Any illnesses or injuries not documented on your medical screening should have been addressed before you reported to MEPS. If additional medical documents are needed, you will be sent home until MEPS receives the documents, reviews them, and reschedules your examination.

The MEPS physician will use the results of your medical examination to determine whether or not you are medically qualified for military service, according to published Department of Defense standards. If you have a medical disqualification that could be waived, the MEPS Medical Profile Officer will make a recommendation as to whether or not the military service should approve a waiver. In making this recommendation, the MPO will take the following factors into consideration:

1. Is the condition progressive?

2. Is the condition subject to aggravation by military service?

3. Will the condition preclude satisfactory completion of prescribed training and subsequent military duty?

4. Will the condition constitute an undue hazard to the examinee or to others, particularly under combat conditions?

If a waiver is required, it is initiated and processed by the service you are trying to join, not the MEPS. Whether or not a waiver will be approved, and how long it takes for approval/disapproval varies greatly. Each and every waiver is considered individually, and approval/disapproval depends upon many individual factors, including the recommendation of the medical profile officer, and the current requirements/needs of that particular military service.

Expect the above medical examination process to take up most (if not all) of the morning.

After the physical is completed, the MEPS control desk will check-out the applicant to his/her Service who will check-out the applicant for the day.

Your first trip to MEPs will be a long day. So, make sure you get lots of sleep, and eat right. Bring a book or magazine, and understand that there will be much "hurry up & wait." There is no other way to process the number of applicants that a MEPS must process each day

What is the ASVAB?

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery=the basic academic qualification test to enter the military. The ASVAB contains 10 separately timed subtests. There are 8 power subtests (test for which speed of work has no influence on an examinee’s score) and two speeded subtests. The test parts are:

1. General Science (GS) – includes 25 items that are to be completed in 11 min that measure general knowledge of biological and physical sciences.


Water is an example of a

 A. crystal.
 B. solid.
 C. gas.
 D. liquid.

2. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) – includes 30 items that are to be completed in 36 min and the items are simple word problems with simple calculations.


If 12 men are needed to run four machines, how many men are needed to run 20 machines?

 A. 20.
 B. 48.
 C. 60.

 D. 80.

3. Word Knowledge (WK) – includes 35 items that are to be completed in 11 min where the applicant must select the correct meaning, or synonym of a given word.


Small most nearly means

 A. sturdy.
 B. round.
 C. cheap.
 D. little.


The wind is variable today.

 A. mild.
 B. steady.
 C. shifting.
 D. chilling.

4. Paragraph Comprehension (PC) – includes 15 items, which are to be completed in 13 min where the applicant must read several paragraphs and then answer the 15 questions on what they just read.


From a building designer's standpoint, three things that make a home livable are the client, the building site, and the amount of money the client has to spend. According to this statement, to make a home livable

 A. the prospective piece of land makes little difference.

 B. it can be built on any piece of land.

 C. design must fit the owner's income and site.
 D. the design must fit the owner's income.

5. Numerical Operations (NO) – includes 50 items and the applicant is given 3 min in which to answer as many problems involving simple calculations as possible.(speeded)


 A. 1
 B. 7
 C. 12
 D. 14

6. Coding Speed (CS) – includes 84 items and the applicant has 7 min in which to substitute numeric codes for verbal material.



green .....


man .....


salt .....


hat .....


room .....


tree .....




1. room

1413  2715  2864  3451  4586 

2. green

2715  2864  3451  4586  5972 

3. tree

1413  2715  3451  4586  5972 

4. hat

1413  2715  3451  4586  5972 

5. room

1413  2864  3451  4586  5972 

7. Auto and Shop information (AS) – includes 25 items that are to be completed in 11 min an they measure knowledge of automobiles, tools, shop terminology, and shop practices.


A chisel is used for

 A. prying.
 B. cutting.
 C. twisting.
 D. grinding.

8. Mathematical Knowledge (MK) – includes 25 items that are to be completed in 24 min and measure knowledge of high school level math (algebra, geometry, elementary trigonometry)


If 50 percent of X = 66, then X = (D. is the correct answer)

 A. 33.
 B. 66.
 C. 99.
 D. 132.

9. Mechanical Comprehension (MC) – includes 25 items to be completed in 19 min and measures knowledge of basic mechanical and physical principles.


If gear A makes 14 revolutions, gear B will make


 A. 21.
 B. 17.
 C. 14.
 D. 9.

10. Electronics Information (EI) – includes 20 items that are to be completed in 9 min and measure knowledge of electric principles and electronic terminology.

What does the abbreviation A.C. stand for?

 A. additional charge.
 B. alternating coil.
 C. alternating current.
 D. ampere current.


ASVAB results are valid for two years. After taking an initial ASVAB Test (any ASVAB test taken in school doesn't count as an "initial test"), one can retake the ASVAB after 30 days. After the re-test, one must wait at least six months before they can take the test again. The military services use the latest ASVAB scores, not the highest, for service qualifications.
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