What Body Parts Do They Check at MEPS? Essential Guide to MEPS Medical Examination

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Preparing for the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re unsure what to expect. One of the most critical aspects of this process is the comprehensive medical examination designed to ensure you’re fit for service. Knowing which body parts are checked can help you feel more prepared and confident.

During the MEPS medical exam, doctors evaluate various parts of your body to assess your overall health and physical condition. From head to toe, every detail matters, as the military needs to ensure you’re capable of handling the physical demands of service. By understanding what to expect, you can better prepare yourself for this crucial step in your military journey.

Understanding MEPS Physical Examination

Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) conducts thorough medical exams. Knowing what to expect eases your nerves and boosts confidence.

What Is MEPS?

MEPS assesses your physical, mental, and moral standards for military service. It’s where potential recruits undergo various evaluations to ensure they meet the requirements for enlistment. Over 65 MEPS stations in the United States serve this crucial function.

Key Components of the Examination

Several key components make up the MEPS physical exam:

  1. Medical History Review:
  • Completed forms covering past and current medical conditions.
  • Truthful disclosure critical, as inaccuracies can affect eligibility.
  1. Hearing Test:
  • Audiometric testing assesses hearing acuity.
  • Ensures ability to understand instructions and communicate effectively.
  1. Eye Test:
  • Includes standard visual acuity, depth perception, and color vision tests.
  • Identifies conditions like nearsightedness or colorblindness that could impact specific roles.
  1. Blood Tests:
  • Determines blood type, checks for infections, and screens for certain disorders.
  • Ensures overall health and identifies potential medical issues.
  1. Urine Test:
  • Screens for drugs and general health indicators.
  • Mandatory for assessing fitness and ensuring compliance with regulations.
  1. Physical Examination:
  • Comprehensive head-to-toe check.
  • Includes assessments of heart, lungs, abdomen, joints, and overall physical condition.
  1. Height and Weight Measurements:
  • Ensures adherence to military physical standards.
  • Helps assess body mass index (BMI) for fitness qualification.
  1. Orthopedic and Neurological Tests:
  • Evaluates musculoskeletal and nervous system health.
  • Includes range-of-motion tests and balance assessments.
  1. Posture and Flexibility Checks:
  • Assesses back and joint health.
  • Crucial for roles requiring physical labor or endurance.

Understanding and preparing for these components ensures you meet the physical demands of military service.

Detailed Review of Body Parts Checked at MEPS

During your visit to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), a thorough and systematic medical examination will ensure you’re fit for military service. The following sections outline what parts of the body doctors focus on during your assessment.

Visual and Hearing Assessment

Medical staff will test your vision using the Snellen chart, measuring your ability to see at various distances. They’ll check for color blindness using the Ishihara plates and assess depth perception with a series of images. Hearing tests involve wearing headphones and identifying sounds at different frequencies and volumes. For example, you’ll listen for tones at varying pitches in each ear to assess hearing acuity.

Musculoskeletal Examination

Doctors will evaluate your musculoskeletal system to ensure your bones, muscles, and joints function correctly. They’ll check for flexibility, range of motion, and any abnormalities in posture. For instance, you’ll perform tasks like bending forward, walking on your heels and toes, and various limb movements.

Neurological Evaluations

Neurological evaluations involve testing your reflexes, coordination, and overall nervous system function. They assess your balance by having you stand on one foot, test your reflexes with a reflex hammer, and evaluate your hand-eye coordination with simple exercises. These tests determine if your nervous system can handle the physical demands of military service.

Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems Check

Medical personnel will measure your heart rate, blood pressure, and lung capacity. They use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs, ensuring no irregularities in rhythm or breathing. You’ll also undergo a spirometry test, where you blow into a device that measures lung function.

Dermatological Assessment

Finally, doctors will conduct a dermatological assessment to check for skin conditions, scars, or tattoos that might affect military duties. They examine your skin from head to toe, looking for any abnormalities or issues that could hinder your effectiveness.

Exploring MEPS can be daunting, but knowing what parts of your body get checked demystifies the process. This comprehensive overview helps you prepare better for your medical evaluation and puts you one step closer to your military career.

The Purpose Behind Each Assessment

Understanding the purpose behind each assessment at MEPS gives you insight into their importance. Each evaluation is critical in determining your ability to meet the physical demands of military service.

Ensuring Fitness for Military Service

MEPS examinations ensure you’re fit for the rigorous demands of military life. Physical evaluations cover various systems:

  • Visual and Hearing Assessments: These tests confirm your ability to perform tasks requiring acute senses. Visual acuity checks and audiograms detect vision impairments and hearing loss.
  • Musculoskeletal Examinations: Examines your bones, muscles, and joints. Doctors look for conditions like fractures or joint instability that could impede physical performance.
  • Neurological Evaluations: Tests your brain and nerves. They look for conditions affecting your balance and coordination, such as tremors or unexplained muscle weakness.

Identifying Potential Health Issues

Identifying health issues early prevents complications during service. MEPS assessments cover:

  • Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems Checks: Evaluates your lungs and heart. Doctors listen for abnormal heart sounds and assess lung function to detect potential asthma or heart conditions.
  • Dermatological Assessments: Checks your skin. They look for conditions like severe eczema or unexplained rashes that might indicate underlying health issues.

Preparation Tips for MEPS

To ace your Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) experience, thorough preparation is key. Understanding what’s expected and how to prepare can ease your journey.

What to Expect

MEPS involves several stages, including medical history review, physical exams, and various diagnostic tests. You’ll undergo vision and hearing assessments, musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, and dermatological evaluations. These exams ensure you’re physically ready for military service.

  1. Physical Fitness: Maintain a consistent exercise routine, focusing on cardiovascular and strength training. Being in good shape helps you pass physical exams.
  2. Sleep: Ensure you get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. Proper rest keeps you alert during assessments.
  3. Nutrition: Consume balanced meals with protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid junk food and hydrate well.
  4. Medical Records: Gather all pertinent medical documentation, including previous injuries, conditions, and treatments. Accurate records streamline the process.
  5. Mental Readiness: Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to manage stress. Stay calm and focused.
  6. Hygiene: Maintain good personal hygiene. Cleanliness contributes to a positive first impression.

Following these tips increases your chances of a smooth MEPS experience.


Successfully exploring the MEPS process requires thorough preparation and a good understanding of what to expect. By focusing on your physical fitness mental readiness and overall health you can approach the medical examinations with confidence. Remember to gather all necessary medical records and maintain good hygiene to ensure a seamless process. Taking these steps will help you get one step closer to your military career goals.


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