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My Personal Account of MEPS (ASVAB, Processing, Physical, and my Oathing in)

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  • My Personal Account of MEPS (ASVAB, Processing, Physical, and my Oathing in)

    Hey guys and girls. This will mark my first post and thread on this forum. In this thread I plan to give you all a rundown of what I experienced during my visit to the MEPS (Maxwell-Gunter AFB in Montgomery, AL.).
    To preface, I am 19 years old and a few months ago I decided that joining the armed forces would give me the benefits I needed as well as a stable job. I chose the U.S. Air Force (Active Duty).
    Alright so after I had met up with my local USAF recruiter, he told me I was ready for MEPS to take the ASVAB and get my physical done. I was excited and, honestly, nervous. He signed me up to go to MEPS on Jan 15, 2013 (so this is a fresh experience for me).
    I spent two days in Montgomery, the first day was my ASVAB and the second was my physical.
    ASVAB DAY: JAN 15, 2013 (20130115)
    Man! Whoever knew a shuttle ride from Pensacola, FL to Montgomery would take so long! I was in a van for about 3.5-4 hours on my way to the MEPS with seven other applicants, which was spent in nearly complete silence as I was listening to my music player and sleeping. Once we got to Montgomery, the shuttle was emptied of all its riders save a National Guard applicant and myself at this really nice hotel because everyone else in the van had already completed their ASVAB. After this was about a seven minute drive to the MEPS on Maxwell-Gunter AFB.
    So we finally get to the MEPS and get our initial signing in and (right now, only index) fingerprinting done. Up to the second floor we go! On the second floor is the counselor's offices (to the right of the stairs) and the ASVAB complex (left). I sign for my shuttle ride back to the hotel and wait patiently for my name to be called.
    To be completely honest, the ASVAB wasn't that hard. I don't see how people fail this test, man. I kill about two hours taking the ASVAB and then the TAPAS (for those who don't know, this is a personality test) and get sent back down to the first floor and wait for my shuttle to the hotel.
    Embassy Suites! Man, I have been to other hotels before (band competitions in faraway cities), but this hotel puts them all to shame! I walk in and there's this beautiful scenery consisting of running water in extended ponds and channels surrounding the central area of the lobby. I walk over to the representative and he gives me this sheet of paper (an address from the armed forces officials saying that I need to behave, the food is free, the 10PM curfew, etc.) to read over and then he signs me up for a room, which I decide to share with the National Guard applicant who I'd befriended on the way to MEPS. It's already 7PM so I decided to go ahead and eat at the dinner buffet, where I ate a pork chop, some wild rice, a slice of meatloaf, and some mixed veggies. I was starving and the food was more than great. After eating, I met one of the Air Force applicants I'd talked to earlier in the recruiter's office back in Pensacola. He and a another Air Force member were sharing a piano. Her flight had been cancelled so she was set back a day from heading out to Lackland for BMT. He only knew chords and she played fluently, serenading the lobby with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata No.14, a beautiful piece of music, I might add. I went after her, playing Pachelbel's Canon in D and then Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Once we were all done, she and I headed to our rooms and the other USAF applicant decided to stay out for a bit longer to play with the piano. For some reason I couldn't get myself to sleep. I already had a glass of water, taken a late night shower, etc. and still didn't end up falling asleep until about 1AM. Still though, it was a good 3 hours of sleep before the wake up call.
    Physical Day/ Oathing Day: JAN 16, 2013 (20130116)
    (To preface this section, I had no clue I'd get so much work done on this day and had no clue I would be able to oath in!)
    Awake at roughly 3:40AM, I go ahead and hit the shower to help me wake up. I get my shave on and brush my teeth, dress for MEPS, wake the roommate, and head downstairs for breakfast. This day's breakfast consisted of two yogurt cups, a banana, an apple, some bacon, a biscuit, two cups of cranberry juice, and three cups of water.
    For anyone heading to MEPS, if you are like me and have an issue urinating in public (it just won't come out), I HIGHLY recommend drinking cranberry juice. It will power through your system like a train and peeing for the urinalysis will be so much easier. If cranberry juice isn't available, sweet tea works as well. Always make sure you drink at least two to three cups of water.
    Breakfast is done, we're all ready to leave and this is our last moments at the Embassy Suites hotel. I thank the staff graciously for their hospitality and turn in my room key. Outside is a charter bus prepared to take all of us (roughly 60 applicants, including about 10 people ready to ship out) to the MEPS. We get there at roughly 5:30 and immediately spend a hefty amount of time waiting in line just to sign in and wait for further instructions.
    I was sent upstairs to my USAF guidance counselor, who was pretty down to Earth about the whole process. He took the package of personal information that my recruiter had put together, placed is in a folder, and pulled out another folder, which contained my ASVAB scores and other sheets of paper that were to be filled out later by the MEPS personnel. He ran over my score, telling me that I had done very well. I made an 81 on my ASVAB, which I had not previously studied for, read up on, or honestly knew anything about next to what questions I answered in the pre-screening test several weeks beforehand.
    He handed me this folder and sent me on my way up to the third floor to begin the rest of my day.
    As soon as I hit the third floor, I was sat down in a chair and my blood pressure and pulse were analyzed. I came out with a systolic pressure of 123 and a diastolic pressure of 81; a decent blood pressure for a 19 year old weighing in at 155 lbs. My pulse was 90, but only because my body was digesting food at the time and that puts a spike in your pulse, as the stomach and intestines demand more blood. My normal pulse is 67.
    After my blood pulse, I was sent across the hall to a room where I was introduced officially to the MEPS and checked over some basic information for spelling errors, filled out a questionnaire, a scantron test, a medical history paper, and eventually the breathalyzer test, which I passed because I don't drink :P
    After this, I ended up waiting a significant amount of time for the next test; my vision test.
    I wear glasses, but my vision test came out with good results. I have perfect depth perception, color vision and near vision. Seeing far was harder, obviously. What most people can see 200 feet away, I need to be 20 feet from to see. Nothing abnormal for a glasses wearer with nearsightedness. The vision doctor filled out some paperwork in my folder and sent me on my way.
    Next up was my hearing test. Now I don't know about the rest of you guys but I'm a bit of a music fanatic and an audiophile. What happens with the hearing test is you head into a room inside a room (roomception!). Once you're inside this room, the person performing the hearing test sends five people into this small, soundproof box. What we did is sit on a stool, put on headphones, and grab a clicker off the wall. This test is four minutes long and what happens is every time you hear a sound in the headphones, you cut off the tone by pushing the button on the clicker. The tones range in frequency AND volume. So basically, if you think you heard it, you heard it. You click the clicker.
    Once we finished the hearing test we were sent across the hall for (one of the harder tests for me, seeing as I HATE public bathrooms and can't normally pee around other people) the urinalysis. This test sucks for people like me. What happens for guys is this: you're lined up at a row of urinals (it was 4 for me), given a cup, and you have to fill this cup about half-way and then you place it on a shelf and finish your business in the urinal. I was crammed with two cups of cranberry juice and three cups of water and by the time I hit the urinalysis, I felt like my bladder was going to explode. So my typical inability to pee in public was easily conquered. I gave the cup to a lady at a counter behind a wall in this "restroom" and she poured most of the urine into a small plastic bottle, capped it off, and pulled out this small white strip and dipped that in the rest of the urine. Once she'd finished that little bit she placed my folder under my arm and sent me across the room to wash my hands. I was done with the urinalysis and sent across the hall.
    Next up was the blood test. This test was extremely easily for me. I'm a blood donor and I have strong veins/arteries. Basically, the blood test person calls you in, and draws your blood. The process is about two minutes long and all they take is a small vial of blood. If you are scared of blood or get nauseous at the sight of blood, all you need to do is look away. If you're afraid of needles, don't worry. The needle is neither thick nor long and doesn't feel any worse than a pinch. Once their done they press some gauze on the puncture and have you put constant pressure on it for about three minutes so that it can clot.
    Almost done! Only two tests left after the blood test.
    Next is a quick physical where you strip down to your boxers and do what's known as the "duck walk", where your squat and walk back and forth. There are other exercises you do here, like windmilling your arms. The purpose of these exercises is to see if you have a full range of motion in your body. Once you've done this the personnel grab your height and weight and send you across the room and line you up at doors where you will be checked out even more in-depth.
    This last test I took pushed my limits. What happens is (you're still in your boxers) a doctor looks you up and down to see if you have any concerning scars, marks, etc. Then he asks you some questions regarding your medical history, tests your reflexes, and finally ends this embarrassing test by making you push your boxers down to your knees, look away, and then presses around your groin to check for signs of hernia. He presses around your privates and has you force a cough. Depending who you get, this man WILL push your scrotum up and have you cough. So be prepared for that violation of personal space and privacy.
    Once you're done here, you're basically done for the physical. You get dressed again and you wait in line for one of the MEPS personnel to look at your information and results. He signs it off and sends you back into the main waiting area on the third floor, where you turn all your information in and wait to be called up. Once I was called up I was sent down to the second floor to my USAF guidance counselor to discuss my Aptitude area and preferred jobs. Before he got to me we were sent to the Aviation Inn for lunch and I must say that the Air Force treats you good with food. I was starving by this point and got some Spaghetti, fried chicken, pizza, and some mashed potatoes. I got a glass of water and a cup of Pepsi and turned in my lunch ticket. After lunch we headed back to the MEPS and I waited until I was called into the USAF guidance counselor's office. Basically what happens here is you're sent down to be completely fingerprinted and then you discuss your aptitude area with the guidance counselor as well as your preferred jobs. My top jobs included Special Forces CCT, Armament, Tactical Aircraft Maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance, and Special Mission Aviation. My aptitude area is Electronics.
    After all this he ran me through a contract, which I signed that I understood, ran my fingerprint about 5 times, and sent me back down to the first floor for an interview concerning my personal information. By this time in the day it was approaching 4:30PM and I was all set to swear in!
    I was sent to wait for about ten more minutes, then I was called in to swear into the United States Air Force. We watched a video concerning what happens if we should fail to meet military standards or desert, and then we went into the swearing room. We signed our contracts, swore in, got our pictures taken, and now I am in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) until March/April where I will be shipped out to Lackland for BMT.
    I remember the smile that spread across my face as the man who managed the swearing in looked me in the eyes and said "Welcome to the United States Air Force."
    It's a big step in my life and I'm prepared to meet whatever expectations are set on me.
    And thus ends my personal account at MEPS I hope you enjoyed the read!