How Many Times Do You Swear In at MEPS?

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Stepping into the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) marks a significant moment in your journey to join the armed forces. Among the various steps you’ll navigate, swearing in stands out as a pivotal event. But how many times do you actually swear in at MEPS?

Understanding the swearing-in process can help you feel more prepared and confident. It’s not just a ceremonial gesture; it’s a formal commitment to serve your country. Whether you’re enlisting for the first time or re-enlisting, knowing what to expect can make the experience smoother and less daunting.

Understanding MEPS and Its Process

At the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), the process ensures you meet the necessary military standards. It’s where you take pivotal steps towards your military career.

What Is MEPS?

MEPS is a joint-service organization run by the Department of Defense. 65 MEPS locations are spread across the United States. Each station evaluates applicants for enlistment through a series of screenings and tests. MEPS ensures recruits are physically, mentally, and morally ready for service.

  1. Medical Examination
  • Includes a physical exam, vision and hearing tests, and drug testing.
  • Determines if you meet medical fitness standards.
  1. ASVAB Testing
  • The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) measures strengths and potential for success.
  • Online practice tests improve performance.
  1. Background Screening
  • Officials review criminal records and moral character.
  • Honesty in disclosure: crucial for approval.
  1. Job Selection
  • Based on ASVAB scores and job availability.
  • Counselors aid in matching roles with skills and preferences.
  1. Swearing-In Ceremony
  • The final step for those qualified.
  • A formal commitment to serve in the armed forces.

Understanding these stages aids in preparing for MEPS, making the process smoother.

The Swearing-In Ceremony at MEPS

Swearing in at MEPS marks an essential milestone for military recruits. The ceremony formalizes the commitment to serve and uphold the Constitution.

The Purpose of Swearing In

The swearing-in ceremony confirms your voluntary commitment to the military. By taking the Oath of Enlistment, you pledge to defend the nation and support its values. This solemn promise underscores your dedication and readiness to undertake the responsibilities of military service.

First and Second Swear-In Explained

First Swearing-In: The initial swearing-in happens after you complete preliminary evaluations, such as the ASVAB and medical exams. This ceremony usually occurs in front of an officer who administers the Oath of Enlistment. By swearing in, you affirm your intent to serve while still undergoing the enlistment process.

Second Swearing-In: The final swearing-in takes place on your shipping day. You swear in again before departure to basic training. This second oath reinforces your commitment and signifies your official entry into the military. Both ceremonies are crucial, reflecting your dedication and solidifying your journey into military service.

Preparing for Your Visit to MEPS

Visiting the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. Proper preparation ensures a smoother experience and helps you focus on your ultimate goal: joining the armed forces.

What to Expect

You’ll encounter multiple stages, from medical examinations to various tests. The process starts early, often around 6 AM, and can last most of the day. Expect to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test if you haven’t already. You’ll undergo a series of medical checks including vision, hearing, blood work, and a physical exam.

After medical evaluations, background screenings follow. Recruiters will verify your history diligently, so honesty is crucial. Finally, job selection happens—aligned with your ASVAB results and based on available positions.

Your day culminates in the Swearing-In Ceremony. You’ll take the Oath of Enlistment, symbolizing your commitment to the Constitution and the nation.

  • Bring Documentation: Ensure you have all necessary documents like your birth certificate, Social Security card, and any legal paperwork. Missing documents can delay the process.
  • Be Honest: Truthfulness during medical exams and background checks is vital. Honesty avoids complications later.
  • Stay Patient: The process can be lengthy and involves much waiting. Bring a book or something to keep busy.
  • Dress Appropriately: Wear comfortable, conservative clothing. Avoid graphic tees or anything potentially offensive.
  • Get Rest: A good night’s sleep before your visit helps you stay alert throughout the day.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Drink water and have a healthy meal before heading to MEPS. Hunger and dehydration can impact your performance.
  • Follow Instructions: Listen carefully and follow directions from MEPS personnel. This ensures a smooth and efficient process.

Understanding each step helps ease nerves and makes your MEPS visit more manageable. Focus on these aspects and you’re prepared for what lies ahead.

Common Questions About MEPS

How Many Times Do You Swear In?

You swear in twice at MEPS. Once during your initial processing visit and again on the day you ship out to basic training. Swearing in involves taking the Oath of Enlistment, which signifies your commitment to serving in the armed forces. Your first swearing-in usually occurs after completing all required tests and screenings. The second swearing-in confirms your readiness and final commitment to join basic training.

Why Is the Swearing-In Important?

Swearing-in is a crucial ceremonial step in the enlistment process. It marks your official entry into military service, symbolizing your willingness to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. This oath is a legally binding declaration, making your role in the armed forces both official and honorable. For many, this moment brings a sense of pride and responsibility, affirming their dedication to serve the country.


Understanding the MEPS process is crucial for a smooth transition into military service. You’ll swear in twice: once after completing all tests and screenings, and again on the day you ship out to basic training. This ceremonial act is a significant milestone, marking your commitment to defend the Constitution of the United States. Proper preparation and a clear understanding of each step will help you navigate MEPS with confidence and ease.


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