MEPS experience?

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    I am in the process of commissioning in the AF Reserves I am so paranoid I will not pass the physical portion. I don't have any medical issues but I am afraid they will find one. Can anyone tell me what to expect at MEPS?
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    For the air force:

    They asked me to stay for a night at a hotel together with all the enlisted ( I was the only one going for officer), although the hotel/ MEPS was actually close to my house. I guess they just wanted to make sure I won't be late?? If they do this, expect that you might have a roommate. Be ready by 0445 i think, have breakfast at the hotel then leave. IF you dont have your car, you will be with the rest of the group riding the bus.

    It probably took about 4 hours to complete the process. For some reason, I think I was one of the first ones to finish. They'll call you by group and/or by branch. Then will go through different areas for physical exam - vision, auditory, fill out some past medical health history (if its something very minor, i say dont even bother putting YES).. then everyone will be in one room again and will be asked to fill out different forms mainly past medical history including psych issues, drug use (of course some kids raised their hands and asked "what if i uses it before should I put it?" surely the instructor said yes.)

    For ladies, you will be in a room for physical exam. You will have to do a urine test without closing the door while a lady in uniform stares at you. There's a female MD together with an assistant who will check you physically and ask you questions. Then when everyone is done, all the ladies will go to a room and do some exercise stuff instructed by the MD like duck walk, reaching your toes, jumping etc on your bra and panty. Quite uncomfortable but we all got over it.

    Of course, your blood has to be drawn as well.

    Then they will give you a card or something (i really dont remember) and I think you have to give that to your recruiter. I think it included fingerprinting as well.

    I hope this helps and gives you a better idea of how it's going to be. It's really not to bad.
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    I went to MEPS last year (November 2012) in Houston, TX for the Navy. You will wait in lines, pee in a cup, do funny stretches in your underwear, test your vision, hearing, body mass, scrotum, anus, and a few others. (they look at your package and bum for all of 3 seconds) You will be mixed with all branches of hopeful recruits. It's nothing to be worried about. Just don't be immature and talk about partying or any irresponsible habits you may have/had. You are being watched and listened to at all times. Do your best to maintain a positive facade for the 8 hours that you are in the MEPS offices.

    There are signs all over the walls/doors saying that and false statements concerning your medical history, drug use, etc. are subject to a $10,000 fine. This may be true, but if you have nothing to hide don't let it worry you. The questionnaire has loaded questions, such as "how many times have you smoked marijuana?....1, 2 ,3 or more times?" and then there is a blank line. Pencil in that you don't smoke, even if you have done so a few times. There is absolutely no way for the military to know if you have done so or not, unless of course if you tell them, which they will try to pressure you into doing so anyways. If you say yes, you remain a civilian almost guaranteed. Unless of course, those two slips in judgement were enough to derail your life. Then by all means, let them know haha

    I've had broken bones that I didn't list, a hernia, as well as a few stitches here and there. It's not worth mentioning unless you have lasting physical handicaps from these events. I'm not saying to be your own doctor, but use your best discretion. Your recruiter will most likely tell you not to list these items as well (mine did...about 6 different times). If you do list them, every single item will need a waiver from your prior or current physician, which takes months. not to mention your recruiter will hate you and pretty much ignore or put-off his efforts towards trying to enlist you.

    I went against my recruiters advice (I was going for Navy Nuclear Program btw) and listed a benign brain tumor that I had 20 years ago (I was 23 at the time). I've had no side effects, or handicaps. If anything I would say I am well above the curve when it comes to my noggin (156 IQ, give or take). This surgery eventually caused me to be PDQ'ed (Permanently Disqualified) after waiting four months for the waiver to be reviewed, despite having a bachelor's degree in Biology and scoring in the 98th percentile on the ASVAB. I would have not mentioned the tumor, but I have an 8 inch surgical scar on my head from it, which is rather hard to miss once all 14 inches of my luxurious hair was shaved off. They would not have accessed this medical record unless it presented an obvious handicap while i was in bootcamp (they watch out heavily for insurance liabilities during bootcamp) or resurfaced while i was enlisted some time down the road. Hence, my advice to not mention it. Yes, it is lying, but you are asked to list EVERY hospital visit since you were born, no matter the severity. This would be an impossible task and no one would ever admitted after all of those waivers stacked up. Airforce is one of the branches that is heavily downsizing, or at least limiting the number of new recruits. Any reason to drop you will be used.

    I almost sound like my recruiter, "Say no to everything." haha, don't do that, but be smart about what you list.

    I'm now applying to nursing school. Be sure to have a Plan B. I didn't and I was absolutely devastated.
    Last edit by karnie1o1 on Jul 1, '13
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    Quote from karnie1o1
    Airforce is one of the branches that is heavily downsizing, or at least limiting the number of new recruits. Any reason to drop you will be used.
    All of the branches are downsizing. Competition is fierce. List medical issues that are problems, but if it isn't bothering you currently or it wasn't a huge issue before, be smart about what you say.
    Enthused RN likes this.
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    Ditto on what SoldierNurse says - "be smart about what you say." For example, there's a question on some form asking if you ever had sleep problems. We ALL have had a bad night's sleep but that doesn't mean you answer yes to the question because that's not technically correct.

    At MEPS, you will be waiting in lines all the time. You fill out lots of paperwork, get your hearing and vision tested, get your blood drawn, pee in a cup in front of some cranky person staring you down and you may have other potential recruits in the bathroom with you, get your height and weight measured in your undies, perform the infamous duck walk in your undies (wear granny panties or boy shorts), strip down to a paper gown in front of others and then go into a room one-by-one to get a quick exam by a female MD or PA (nothing goes inside of you, she just looks to confirm that you are female and have no weird rashes or hemorrhoids).

    When I went, the PA couldn't visualize my ear drum due to wax allegedly (personally I don't think she even pulled the pinna down so really it was an error in technique but whatever) so a recruiter had to speed drive me to an outside doctor to get my ear washed out and then I had to hurry back to MEPS to get my ear looked at again. This is called a "consult." If there are issues like this at MEPS, you get sent out for a consult with an outside doctor paid for by the government, of course. God bless you if you ever have to go through an ear washing.

    That's basically it for the medical portion. On the same day, I also did some fingerprinting and took care of details such as confirming next of kin, confirming who would take care of your burial and get burial benefits if you die, etc. Not sure if you will do the same. Overall, it's not bad. It just sucks.
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    Quick question. I have a similar question. I have a 6-inch scar on my lower abdomen from complications to an appendectomy that required another surgery. I can't exactly say that I've never had surgery because it is quite obviously a surgical scar. I already gave my recruiter my medical records for the incident. If I said "yes" to prior surgery, would it still d/q me?
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    An appendectomy isn't a terribly severe issue. I'm not a doctor either. The size of the scar isn't the issue. I would just say the reason for the surgery is what they will address. If your recruiter knows of the issue and you have begun the process for the waiver then you should put it on the paperwork at MEPS. Not doing so will make your recruiter look bad, which will reduce their desire to help you out. This is a job for them, try your best to make them look good as well.

    ... I don't know what they will say unfortunately, but being up front and telling them about my surgery was better than risking being caught and potentially fined for falsifying government documents. If they want you, they'll get you.

    I went to the Navy because I felt I had no other option, but after being PDQ'd and really hitting rock-bottom emotionally I slowly realized that I just had to keep trying. Two years later I'm still trying to get into nursing school. Keep your chin up and always have a plan B or C, G, K... whatever it takes.
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    Just so you are aware when I went to MEPS I had a male MD with a female assistant during the physical exam. It wasn't a big deal as he was a professional and so am I.
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    I just went to MEPS 2 days ago. We started at 5:45 am, so try to get some sleep the night before. I was put up in a hotel nearby so I could get there on time. We started with the vision test and the hearing test. Bring glasses and contacts with you. I would bring a recent optometry exam with you as well. My vision isn't the greatest, it's almost disqualifying, but not quite! So, since I was so borderline, they wanted a 2nd opinion and would have accepted my own optometrists note. Well, my recruiter never told me to bring it, so I had to leave MEPS and see an optometrist. It took like 10 mins, but could have avoided it alltogether if I had brought my own. Then we gave urine samples and blood samples and a breathalyzer, so don't drink the night before. Had a briefing where we filled out all the medical history paperwork. This paperwork is pretty similar to what you fill out with the recruiter. Don't change your answers! MEPS only knows what you tell them or what they can assess on your body. They don't have access to your medical records, only what you provide them. They tell you to put EVERYTHING down. Well if someone said you had asthma 20 years ago, but you don't and never really did, DO NOT put it down. They will disqualify you!
    The next part was where they split the guys and girls up for weigh ins and physicals. I sat in a paper gown with 8 other girls for 2 hours! Man it took forever! We watched an entire movie and started another one. The doctor will ask you some questions and go over your history you marked down on the sheet. They will ask you over and over about drug and alcohol use while at MEPS. Just say NO! Then he did a quick run over my systems and documented my tattoos. They will do a breast exam on the ladies and they will do a quick exam below the waist. It was more like a quick peak just to make sure I was really a woman. At least that's all it was for me. Then all us ladies got to get into our bras and underwear to do some exercises for the doctors. They have you do exercises that show them how well your joints work and to ensure you don't have any mobility issues. This took about 30 minutes or so. We walked on tip toes, walked on our heals, did many many squats, arm circles, and the worst one is the 'duck walk'. You squat all the way down on the floor for this one and walk and you're in your bra and underwear.
    That was pretty much it for the physical. Everyone was told if they qualified or not at that time, well, with blood and urine pending.
    We started at 5:45 am and I left MEPS at 2pm. If I wouldn't have had to see the optometrist, I probably would've been done around 1pm.
    Pixie.RN likes this.
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    I have another question about meps. My recruiter told me that I have to be selected before going to meps but I see that some have already gone. I'm just concerned that I will miss out on being selected because we all know that recruiters are not always on the ball. I'm just wondering if anyone has gone to meps BEFORE commissioning into the USAF?


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