What Happens After You Pass MEPS? Your Next Steps Explained

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Passing the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is a significant milestone on your journey to joining the armed forces. You’ve navigated the rigorous medical exams, aptitude tests, and background checks. Now, you’re probably wondering what’s next.

After MEPS, the path ahead involves several crucial steps that will shape your military career. From receiving your official job assignment to attending basic training, each phase is designed to prepare you for the challenges and responsibilities of military life. Understanding what comes next can help you feel more confident and ready for the adventures ahead.

Understanding the Significance of Passing MEPS

Passing the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is a pivotal moment in your journey to join the armed forces. It’s more than just a checkpoint; it’s a clear signal that you’re ready for the challenges ahead.

What Is MEPS and Its Purpose?

MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station. These stations are facilities where your physical, medical, and mental aptitudes are evaluated. MEPS ensures you meet the standards required for military service. This evaluation process includes:

  • Medical Examination: Doctors conduct thorough physical exams, including vision, hearing, and overall health assessments.
  • Aptitude Tests: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests determine your strengths and potential job roles within the military.
  • Background Check: Officials verify your background to ensure there are no legal barriers to your enlistment.

Passing MEPS means you’re physically and mentally capable of serving in the military, marking a significant step towards your new career.

The Importance of MEPS in Military Enrollment

MEPS is crucial in military enrollment for several reasons:

  • Eligibility Confirmation: MEPS confirms you meet all eligibility criteria. If any disqualifying issues arise, they must be resolved before you can proceed.
  • Job Assignment: Your ASVAB scores, medical results, and personal preferences help determine your ideal job within the military. This ensures you’re placed in a role that aligns with your skills and interests.
  • Preparation for Basic Training: Passing MEPS prepares you for the next phase, basic training. You’ll receive an official ship-out date and instructions, setting the stage for your transformation into a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine.

MEPS is more than a series of tests; it’s the gateway to your military career. Understanding its significance can help you appreciate the rigors and responsibilities that accompany this essential step.

Your Next Steps After Passing MEPS

You’ve passed MEPS. What’s next? You’re about to begin on a journey that will shape your military career. Here, we’ll outline your next steps with insights from retired Master Sergeant John ‘Jack’ Morgan.

Receiving Your Military Job Assignment

After passing MEPS, the next major milestone is receiving your military job assignment. This involves meeting with a career counselor to discuss your qualifications, interests, and available job roles in your chosen branch.

  1. Career Counselor Meeting: Your career counselor will review your ASVAB scores, physical, and medical results. This determines which roles you qualify for.
  2. Job Preferences: You’ll list job preferences based on your skills and interests. If you qualify, you may get your top choice.
  3. Available Positions: Counselors match you with positions that meet current military needs. High-demand roles might offer bonuses or incentives.
  4. Finalizing Assignment: Once a job is selected, you’ll sign an enlistment contract specifying your role, training location, and term of service.

Preparing for Basic Training

With your job assignment in hand, it’s time to prepare for basic training, also known as boot camp. This preparation ensures you’re mentally and physically ready for the rigorous program ahead.

  1. Physical Fitness: Start a consistent exercise routine. Focus on cardio, strength training, and core exercises to build endurance.
  2. Study Military Basics: Familiarize yourself with military ranks, codes of conduct, and terminology. Knowledge here gives you a head start.
  3. Personal Responsibilities: Organize personal affairs and ensure you have necessary documents, such as your Social Security card and banking details.
  4. Mental Preparation: Adopt a positive mindset. Brace for challenges and be prepared to follow orders without hesitation. Discipline and resilience are key.

These steps streamline your transition from civilian life to military service, ensuring you’re prepared for the demands and opportunities ahead.

The Enlistment Timeline

Passing MEPS signifies that you’re ready for the next stage of your military journey. Understanding the enlistment timeline post-MEPS is crucial for a seamless transition into service.

From MEPS to Basic Training

After you clear MEPS, your journey continues with a few critical steps. You’ll meet a career counselor, who’ll review your qualifications and help you select job preferences. This step often involves an in-depth discussion about your interests and the needs of the military.

Once your job’s assigned, you’ll sign an enlistment contract that seals your commitment. Then, you prepare for basic training. Get ready physically by engaging in regular exercise—focus on running, push-ups, and sit-ups, as these are core activities in basic training. Brush up on military basics; study rank structures, military time, and basic commands. Organize your personal affairs since you’ll be away from home for an extended period. Finally, cultivate mental readiness; the transition demands resilience and adaptability.

Delays and What They Mean for Recruits

Expect potential delays. These might occur due to administrative processing or job availability. While you wait, use the time wisely. Continue physical training to maintain your fitness level. Dive deeper into learning about military life and expectations. Stay in touch with your recruiter—they’re your best resource for updates. Delays can test patience but view them as extra prep time to ensure you’re fully ready when your basic training date arrives.

Life Changes and Expectations

Passing MEPS signifies the beginning of significant life changes. Now, let’s investigate into what to expect next.

Lifestyle Adjustments for New Enlistees

Transitioning into military life requires substantial lifestyle adjustments. From structured routines to physical training, every aspect of life transforms. You’ll need to embrace discipline, a vital component of military success. Expect early mornings and rigorous physical activities that demand peak physical fitness. Balancing work and personal time becomes essential.

After MEPS, family dynamics might shift. Your loved ones need to adjust to your new commitments. Maintaining open communication and setting realistic expectations with your family ensures smoother transitions.

Communication and Support Networks

Effective communication and robust support networks prove indispensable during this phase. Establishing connections with fellow recruits fosters camaraderie and mutual support. Engage with military forums and support groups to share experiences and gain insights.

Leverage resources provided by the military, such as counselors and support services. They offer guidance and aid in exploring challenges. Regularly communicate with your recruiter to stay informed and address any concerns that arise.

Being well-prepared for these changes sets a strong foundation for your military journey.


Passing MEPS is a pivotal milestone in your journey towards military service. It sets the stage for your career path, physical and mental preparation, and the significant lifestyle changes ahead. Staying physically fit, mentally ready, and maintaining open lines of communication with your support network are crucial for a smooth transition. Embrace the structured routines, rigorous training, and the discipline required. Keep in touch with your recruiters and fellow recruits to stay informed and supported. This foundation will help you navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in your military career.


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