Do You Get Paid for MEPS? Understanding Expenses and Reimbursements

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

You’re considering a career in the military and have heard about the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), but you’re wondering if you’ll get paid for attending. It’s a common question for those starting their journey in the armed forces. Understanding the financial aspects of this crucial step can help you better prepare and manage your expectations.

MEPS is where your physical, mental, and moral standards are evaluated to ensure you’re fit for service. While the process can be intense, knowing whether you’ll be compensated for your time there is essential. Let’s jump into what you can expect financially when you attend MEPS.

Understanding MEPS and Its Purpose

What Is MEPS?

MEPS, short for Military Entrance Processing Station, is where you’ll head if you’re enlisting. It’s a joint-service organization staffed by military and civilian personnel. MEPS determines if you’re physically, mentally, and morally qualified for military service.

The Role of MEPS in Military Enlistment

MEPS plays a crucial role in your enlistment journey. Here, a series of tests and evaluations will help assess your suitability for the armed forces. Different stations at MEPS include:

  1. Medical Evaluation: You undergo a thorough physical exam to check overall health.
  2. ASVAB Testing: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery evaluates your skills and helps determine your career path in the military.
  3. Background Screening: Your legal and personal history is reviewed to ensure you meet moral standards.
  4. Fitness Tests: Physical standards must be met to determine your readiness for service.

MEPS ensures you’re well-prepared and fit for the demands of military life. Without this step, enlisting would be incomplete.

The Financial Aspects of Attending MEPS

Attending the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) involves not just physical and mental evaluations but also financial considerations. Understanding these aspects helps manage your expectations.

Do You Get Paid for MEPS?

You don’t receive pay for attending MEPS. The journey through MEPS is part of the enlistment process, not considered active duty. But, expenses incurred during this phase don’t all fall on your shoulders.

Other Expenses and Reimbursements

While you won’t get direct pay, certain expenses related to attending MEPS get covered. The military reimburses travel costs to the MEPS location, so keep those receipts. Lodging and meals might be provided if the process spans multiple days, easing your financial burden.

Understanding these financial aspects ensures you’re prepared and know what to expect when you step into MEPS.

Preparing for Your MEPS Visit

Getting ready for your MEPS visit ensures a smoother experience. Knowing what to bring and what to expect helps you prepare effectively.

What to Bring to MEPS

Bring all necessary identification and documents, including your Social Security card, birth certificate, and a photo ID. If married, bring your marriage certificate. If you have children, bring their birth certificates too.

Pack a set of clean clothes. Comfortable and appropriate clothing makes the day easier. Avoid wearing jewelry or any accessories. You’ll need a pair of glasses if you wear them—contact lenses aren’t allowed during the eye exam.

Carry any medical records or prescriptions. If you’ve had prior medical conditions, it’s critical to have documentation. Bring the name and dosage of any current medications.

Ensure you have your enlistment paperwork. This includes your high school diploma or equivalent certification. Keep all items in an organized folder or bag to avoid scrambling for them.

What to Expect During the MEPS Process

Expect a comprehensive evaluation process. You’ll undergo medical examinations, aptitude tests, and background checks. Arrive early and stay patient; the day could be long.

Begin with the medical screening. This includes a physical exam, vision and hearing tests, and a drug test. Doctors check your overall health. Prepare for physical and mental fitness evaluations.

After medical exams, you’ll take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. It assesses your skills and abilities in different areas. It’s crucial for determining your military job qualifications.

Next is the interview with a service liaison. They’ll discuss your medical history, job preferences, and ensure your records are correct. Be honest and thorough.

Finish the day by swearing in. If everything’s in order, you’ll take the Oath of Enlistment. This commitment marks the start of your military career.

Understanding these steps ensures you’re prepared for your MEPS visit. Good preparation reduces stress and increases your chances of a successful processing day.


Exploring MEPS is a pivotal step in your journey to join the military. While you won’t get paid for attending, understanding the process and being well-prepared can make a significant difference. Remember to bring all necessary documents and be ready for medical screenings, aptitude tests, and interviews. Your readiness will not only ease your stress but also enhance your chances of a successful enlistment. By thoroughly preparing for your MEPS visit, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother transition into military service.


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