Once your husband has talked to his recruiter and has decided to join the Army, he will be assigned a date to go to MEPS. The role of MEPS is to “ensure that each new member of the Armed Forces: The Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard; meets the high mental, moral and medical standards required by the Department of Defense and the military services.”
There are 65 MEPS throughout the nation. The Army recruiter typically takes him to MEPS or the soldier can go by private vehicle and meet his recruiter there. While at MEPS, he will take the ASVAB, undergo a physical evaluation and submit paperwork for his background check.
What Will He Do At MEPS?
This is typically an all day event as they are processing future soldiers for all branches of service. There is a central room with televisions where you can wait if you choose to go with him (as I did). There were very few other Army wives or Army family members present. He had to be there very early in the morning and I went over to MEPS a little later in the morning. There is NOTHING to do other than watch television while you wait and you will be waiting by yourself. I did not even see my husband for the first few hours I was there.
After all of the testing, he will be led to a counselor that will help him choose his MOS (military occupational specialty). In layman’s terms, he is choosing his job that he will do while in the Army. There are a variety of jobs, most of which are dependent on the scores from the tests he just completed. Once his job has been chosen, he will be given a contract that lays out his MOS, any additional schooling (airborne, RIP, etc.) and his entrance date. Before he signs is the only time he has to negotiate any of this. My husband was holding out for a Ranger contract and refused to go in with anything else. When they brought us the contract, he was very excited. I was too until I saw that he was due to leave on our wedding anniversary. I asked for the date to be changed and they obliged. Be sure everything you and he want is in his contract BEFORE he signs.
Taking His Oath
After this is complete, he will be introduced to the Army by being taught how to stand at attention, at ease, etc. This is for the ceremony where he will recite the oath. They will allow you to go into the room and watch him during this and even let you take a picture after it is complete. The oath is as follows:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me according to the regulations and the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
What Is Next?
After this is complete, his recruiter will sign him out and he will be free to go. He is now part of DEP, which you can learn more about here. Your soldier will also more than likely return to MEPS when he leaves for basic training.