Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids. Rejoins Air National Guard as an "old lady" of 38.

A humorous compilation of stories and lessons learned. Usually the hard way.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How to Survive MEPS: A brief down-and-dirty of what to expect.

I often get questions about boot camp and surviving the military in general.  Having just gone through the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) a second time, I thought I would post some informative advice while it was still fresh in my head, to help get you through one of the very first steps towards your military career.
  1. Don’t lie.  But lie a little.
    Don’t lie about the marijuana you did last week.  It’s going to pop up on your drug test, and then you are just wasting everyone’s time.  If you’re planning on going to MEPS or into the military- just don’t do drugs.  It’s simple, and there is no tolerance.

  2. Lie a little.  They are going to cross-examine you. 
     Them:  “If you took any type of pill in the past month, and you don’t list it on this form, you will be kicked out!”  This does not include the TUMS you took after dinner two weeks ago.  No one cares.   You don’t need to write down TUMS.
  3. The same rule goes with allergies.  If you have a deathly peanut allergy or have asthma, you need to report this.  If you touched fiber glass, poison ivy, or poison oak and broke out in a rash, congratulations.  You are normal and the military doesn’t care.
  4. Get over your insecurities.  They are going to watch you pee into a cup for your drug test.  It’s gross.  No one enjoys it- least of all them.  Just follow directions- like every step- and you will be done quickly.  If you do not, you will be there twice as long.
  5. To piggy back on #4.  They will examine EVERY part of you.  They are just being thorough, and it’s not intended to be a personal violation.  They are professional doctors.  If you can’t handle it, you shouldn’t go into the military.  There are worse things in life.
  6. Don’t hit on anyone.  MEPS and boot camp are NOT the places to flirt.  You want to be taken seriously and this is not why you should be there.
  7. Please, for everyone’s sake, wear clean underwear.  You will spend a lot of time in it with others.  Women, for the love of god, don’t wear a thong.    No one wants to see you in a thong doing the duck walk.
  8. You will have to do the Duck Walk and other awkward coordination checks.  Just listen carefully, and once again follow directions to get done as swiftly as possible.
  9. If you’re going into the Air Force, you’re going to have to valsalva.  Practice this ahead of time, as MEPS should not be the first time you valsalva, nor should boot camp be the first time you attempt to do a push up.
  10. Make sure you are within the military standards for weight.  This will save you time and embarrassment if you’re not.  Lose weight first, and then sign up.
  11.  Above all, BE RESPECTFUL.  Follow directions, only ask questions if you really need to (there are such things as stupid questions), and just go with the flow.  This will also serve as good advice to get through many of your trainings ahead.  Relax.  You got this.

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