How Many People Can Watch You Swear In at MEPS?

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Swearing in at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) marks a significant milestone in your journey to joining the armed forces. This ceremonial moment is something you might want to share with loved ones, but how many people can actually watch you take this oath?

Understanding the guidelines and restrictions around this event can help you plan accordingly. Whether you’re envisioning a small, intimate gathering or hoping to include a few more supporters, knowing the rules will ensure your special day goes smoothly. Let’s jump into what you need to know about bringing guests to your MEPS swearing-in ceremony.

Understanding MEPS: What Is It?

Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) plays a vital role in the enlistment process. You’re required to go through MEPS for a series of evaluations before officially joining the armed forces.

The Purpose of the Military Entrance Processing Station

MEPS ensures that all recruits meet the medical, physical, and moral standards required by the military. It acts as the gatekeeper, verifying that you’re fit and ready to serve. This involves comprehensive health screenings, background checks, and aptitude tests. By doing so, MEPS helps maintain the quality of individuals entering the service.

  1. Medical Examination: You’ll undergo a thorough physical exam, including vision, hearing, and blood tests. These assessments ensure you’re in good health and can handle the demands of military life.
  2. ASVAB Testing: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test evaluates your skills and knowledge. Your scores determine the roles you’re eligible for within the military.
  3. Background Check: MEPS conducts a detailed background check to ensure you have a clean record. This step is crucial for positions requiring security clearances.
  4. Oath of Enlistment: Finally, after passing all evaluations, you take the Oath of Enlistment. This ceremony marks your official entry into the armed forces and can be witnessed by a limited number of guests, dependent on MEPS-specific rules.

Each step of MEPS is designed to ensure that only the most qualified and prepared candidates join the military.

The Swearing-In Ceremony at MEPS

The swearing-in ceremony at MEPS marks the culmination of your enlistment process. It’s a moment filled with pride and anticipation.

What Happens During the Swearing-In?

The swearing-in ceremony involves taking the Oath of Enlistment. Recruits gather in a designated room, usually accompanied by a commissioned officer. The officer administers the oath while recruits repeat it, committing themselves to defend the Constitution and uphold military values. Cameras and phones are typically not allowed during this part to maintain decorum.

Who Is Allowed Inside?

MEPS facilities generally allow a limited number of guests. You can typically invite up to two family members or close friends. But, specific rules can vary by location. It’s a good idea to check with your local MEPS in advance to avoid any surprises. Guests must follow dress codes and behavior guidelines to respect the solemnity of the occasion.

Limits on Attendance

When attending your Swearing-In Ceremony at MEPS, understanding the limit on how many guests can join you is crucial for planning this special moment.

How Many Can Attend?

Most MEPS locations allow up to two guests to witness the ceremony. These guests usually include immediate family members, like parents or spouses, or close friends. MEPS facilities enforce this limit to manage space and ensure security. Check with your specific MEPS location for any variations in these limits.

Restrictions and Exceptions

While two guests are generally permitted, exceptions may apply. MEPS may adjust attendance rules based on current events, facility size, or other considerations. Occasionally, larger groups might be allowed for unique circumstances, like a recruit being the first in their family to join the military. But, any exception requires prior approval and verification. It’s best to inquire ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

MEPS also enforces strict guidelines about dress code and behavior for guests to maintain the ceremony’s decorum. Guests should dress conservatively and refrain from disruptive behavior to honor the solemnity of the occasion.

Preparing for a Visit to MEPS

Visiting the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is a significant step in supporting your loved one’s entry into military service. This section provides essential information to help you prepare for this important day.

What to Bring

Bring valid identification and necessary documentation to the MEPS visit. Commonly required documents include a government-issued ID, enlistment papers, and any medical records requested. A small bag for personal items like a wallet or keys is allowed, but large bags and electronics like laptops are generally not permitted. Have snacks and water on hand for the wait.

Expectations for Visitors

Follow strict guidelines for dress code and behavior during the MEPS visit. Wear business-casual attire to respect the formality of the ceremony. Avoid wearing hats, casual t-shirts, shorts, or flip-flops. Use respectful language and maintain decorum throughout the visit.

Expect to spend several hours at MEPS. You’ll undergo security checks upon arrival, and waiting times can vary. Cooperate with MEPS personnel for a seamless process. Be prepared for limited interaction with recruits before the ceremony due to their tight schedule.

Remember, MEPS guidelines may vary slightly by location. Contact the local MEPS office beforehand to clarify any specific requirements or restrictions.


Attending a swearing-in ceremony at MEPS is a significant milestone in the enlistment process. By adhering to the guidelines, ensuring all required documentation is in order, and respecting the dress code, you can help make the day smooth and memorable. Remember to check with your local MEPS office for any specific requirements or restrictions to avoid any last-minute surprises. Whether you’re an enlistee or a guest, preparation is key to making this important day a success.


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