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  • MEPS Fort Hamilton NY

    Took my full physical at MEPS in Fort Hamilton, NY today. Here's a break down of what went down.

    The night before
    Get a good sleep and be well rested you have a long day ahead. Make sure to shower before going.

    Meet with recruiter

    I met with my recruiter at my local recruiting station circa 4:30am. There was another Navy applicant that carpooled with us.

    Entrance to MEPS

    Fort Hamilton is right by the Verrazano Bridge, in Brooklyn. We got there 5:25am and waited in the parking lot for a bit. Then we headed to the entrance. This is what the building entrance looks like:
    A funny side story; a Marine recruiter went to open the door but it was locked and ripped the handle clear off! So if one door is missing a handle you know why.

    There will be recruiters from every branch escorting their applicants. They will have you make a line in front of the door. About this time 2 school buses showed up packed with shippers (people ready to ship out) about 60 people. They made another separate line in front of the doors. The shippers went in first and were out of sight when the time came for when the physical/DEP line was ready to move into the building. If you bring a bag you will have to pick up a plastic bin on the way in. So if you don't need a bag I would suggest not bringing one. All you need is your picture ID, social security card, t-shirt, trousers/shorts, socks, sneakers, underwear, and if you wear them contacts/glasses.

    Inside the building you will sit in chairs. Fill in the seats sequentially starting with row 1, seat 1. They will then section you off by branch to get an index finger print via touch pad scanner and name/ID sticker you will wear the entire time you're at MEPS. A lot of people were full retarded and didn't know how to do the fingerprint. Press firmly. Make sure your print is centered on the screen and straight up and down. There will be a red arrow in the top left corner to help direct you. You will have to do this at multiple stations throughout the day, so please don't hold up the line.

    You will also pick up a colored folder with all the paperwork you need for your physical. You will sit in a waiting room and then get briefed about the day. There is a slideshow and video. If you didn't take the ASVAB yet you will be sent to do that before the physical. If already tested, you will begin you physical upstairs.

    The full physical
    About this time it's 6:45am.

    First thing is blood pressure and heart rate. This is pretty straight forward. If you're nervous or the first one up the stairs and you're out of breath they will send you to the back of the line to do it again.

    Next room they look over your paper work, ask you to verify the information is correct. Check it! They print out barcodes and put them in your folder. Then they send you to hearing or vision testing.

    Vision testing is different for each branch of service. I did the Navy test so here's what you can expect. The first test is for color blindness. You have to state the number you see: {29, 10, 2}

    Next is near/far vision testing. You will put your head in a machine and see various sized fonts. They will ask you to read the smallest line that you can without squinting/struggling. For my test, the bottom left most line was 20/20 vision. That should be your goal. Do not be a hero and try to read smaller than that unless you can with 100% accuracy and no fear of error. I was able to read from the bottom right section which has fonts smaller than 20/20 size. I do not recommend this. I scored 20/17 on vision but it doesn't matter, you don't get extra points or credit for it.

    Depth perception was the last vision test. You will see 6 sets of the following 3x5 matrix:

    You will have to state which O appears to be standing out. Kind of like a hologram, one of them will be jumping out towards you. The amount of jumping out is relatively small. It won't be obvious at first but take your time. I can't reproduce this effect here, but you get the idea. Assuming they're numbered in order from left to right; for the example above you would say, "Line 1 number 2, Line 2 number 4, Line 3 number 1." For depth perception test take your time! It's not a race. A lot of people failed it because they rushed.

    Hearing testing is next. You will be in a sound proof booth with headphones and a Jeopardy style handheld clicker. When you hear a sound no matter how faint you click the buzzer. If you want to practice what the frequencies sound like this site has good practice: Equal loudness contours and audiometry - Test your own hearing Warning do not have your speakers/headphones full volume and click the higher dB rated sounds. You might hurt or even damage your ears!. The entire test should take around 3 minutes total. You will hear sounds in your left ear first then your right ear. Setup the headphones in advance so that they fit snug on your head. The sounds have a very small interval of silence between them so you will be pressing the buzzer approximately every few seconds. Some of the sounds are very faint, if you think you hear it press it.

    Briefing and breathalyzer is next. You will get a white paper form with orange print to fill out. Using a pencil you will bubble in New York on the back and fill out the front with your information and sign it. Follow the instructions from the proctor exactly. If he says don't go ahead then don't. If he says don't open your folder then don't. If you said yes to any of the questions you will have to write a brief explanation in pen on another form from your folder. For me I said yes to "Did you ever get fired from a job?" "Did you ever have 3 or more traffic tickets?" I gave a brief explanation and it was not a big deal. Answer truthfully and consistently. One person got his folder confiscated and sent straight to his recruiter because he indicated something that wasn't on another paper (presumably his pre-screen form from his recruiting station). You will fill out and verify information on more paperwork. Definitely check as my town was spelled wrong and my zip code was wrong. Make corrections then sign and date next to the correction.

    You will be given a brand new plastic mouthpiece. Pro tip so you don't get blue in the face: The open end faces you. The closed end faces the technician. Everyone in the 25 person group passed. You will answer questions about your medical history. This should match up with what your recruiter had you fill out. You should mostly or all "No" answers with the exception in section 14 "Are you currently in good health?" which should answer "Yes". They will ask you if you took any medication or over the counter products in the last 48 hours. This includes protein shakes multi-vitamin. I put down protein shake and the person next to me put down multi-vitamin. Lastly they will brief you on what to expect next.

    Urine test is next. You will go in 6-8 at a time to the restroom. A technician will watch you urinate into a clear plastic cup marked 0 - 100 units. You must produce at least 60 units. Finish in the urinal when you're done filling the cup. You will sign a form, throw out the cup, and wash your hands.

    Blood test is next. They take one small vial of blood. Pretty straight forward. If you don't like the look of blood or it makes you sick just look out the window.

    Next you will strip down to just underwear. You will get height and weight measured. 4 out of the 20 men were over the height/weight standard, and had to get measured by a tape around their neck and abdomen. Most people were average build so don't be worried if you're out of shape or not athletic build. Next is range of motion testing. It was surprisingly more thorough then anticipated. Try your best and follow directions. If they say to do something with force, then snap with quickness when you do it. Similar to a jab in boxing. Lastly you will have a physical with a doctor. They will ask you 3 questions about your marijuana and alcohol usage. I cannot tell you how to answer this. I never smoked marijuana or abused alcohol so it was easy on my conscience to answer truthfully. However you answer, make sure you're consistent. The doctor went over with me, why I was fired from my job and why I had 3 traffic tickets. I answered consistently with my explanations earlier in the day. Again it wasn't a big deal at all.

    Done with physical

    You're done with the physical congratulations! You get to watch TV in the waiting room while they get your papers ready for you to bring down to your recruiter. You will have an opportunity to go downstairs and grab lunch in the basement. You get 1 choice of drink (soda/diet soda/water) and 1 prepackaged white paper lunch bag containing a sandwich (ham/turkey/roast beef) a bag of chips, 2 cookies and an apple. Eat upstairs in the waiting room with the TV. Get your paper work after waiting about 30 minutes. Take your paper work downstairs to your branch of service. It was approximately 1:15pm when finished.

    I only went for a full physical but my understanding is if you're there for DEP also you will sit with a counselor to choose a job. Have a background check. Take the oath of enlistment.
    Last edited by muffe; August 9th, 2011, 01:36.

  • #2

    what a great write up!

    outstanding work... Im going to "sticky" ths up to the top of the MEPS page to make sure people get a good look at it.

    Really nice!


    • #3
      This was almost exactly my experience at the Fort Hamilton Meps good write up!


      • #4
        Please be prepared this is going to be a long one..

        Came back from MEPS Fort Hamilton today

        So here is a quick background. I originally took the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) at Fort Hamilton MEPS July 2011. I did not pass and took the ASVAB in August 2011 and got a 93. Spoke to my wife and pursued butter bars in the ARMY. I proceeded to process at Fort Hamilton MEPS with the ARMY as an OCS Candidate. My experience was almost EXACTLY the same as muffe posted minus the depth perception the 1st time i went to MEPS...Now for the good stuff!

        After doing further research and speaking to my wife we decided not to go ARMY and 3 months later I called my Air Force Recruiter. After 2 months of paper work and meetings and losing weight (in that order), I received a processing date at MEPS.

        Because I processed previously with the Army, MEPS only required me to do what is called an inspect. The inspect, is basically how "shippers" (people who will be shipping that day) are processed. The good thing is that with the inspect you are considered a shipper so you go through the entire process before EVERYONE

        My inspect consisted of:
        1. Undress to boxers with no socks.
        2. Give folder to processor and step on scale.
        3. Get height taken.
        4. Sit down and wait
        5. We are all called to Attention and asked to raise our hands and open and close them while sticking our tongues out.
        6. Called back to attention
        7. Bring both arms to the front and bend them to about a 30 degree angle and proceed to alternate and throw them up and down while maintaing the angle. This move is reminiscent of the WWF Bushwackers
        8. Stand at attention
        9. Jump up and down as high as you can 5 times in place.
        10. Read a paragraph out loud with all of the punctuations. This should take about 1 minute. Resist the urge to become a "AK-47 Reader".


        That is the inspect. Now...since I did not complete the flight physical for the Air Force, I had to do the depth perception test, which i passed. I cannot stress enough to TAKE YOUR TIME. If you get 1 wrong out of the 18 you fail which means you can not have any Air Crew Jobs.

        I then went downstairs to the AF processor and handed him the packet my recruiter helped me build the day before + my medical file from the inspect.. I was the only AF applicant for the day It took him about 30 minutes to process my paper work. He then called me in to lift 110 lbs over my head. This was extremely easy as it was on a machine and you use momentum to lift. Imagine squatting and using your legs to lift a bar and once you get the bar to your chest you stand up and was truly easy...

        He then sent me out the room and continued to do paper work. Called me back in and I did some more paper work. He showed me 5 pages of jobs that I qualify for...Your ASVAB score is what affects what jobs you qualify 1st, 2nd is your flight physical. If you fail anything or do not have a certain level of hearing or do not have good enough vision or any combination of the latter, you will be disqualified for jobs. Case in point, I qualified for loadmaster which is what I want but was disqualified for Ariel Still Photographer....i couldn't believe it

        The following is what i consider to be the most important part of this paper work process. It helps for you to go into the office with a bucket list of jobs. Do your research before hand and list the jobs that you want in the order you want them. I did not qualify for 4 of the 10 jobs I chose which cut it close because I had to choose 6 jobs and 2 aptitude areas. The more jobs you come prepared with the more possibility you will end up with the job you want and not a job that is described to you while you are trying to make a rushed decision which will affect your entire Military Career.

        After I chose my jobs I signed more paperwork confirmed the order of jobs I selected signed more paperwork and was given the rank I am going to enlist with (which is E-3, the highest the Air Force offers to the enlisted side of the house) I was then sent to wait online upstairs behind the reception area on the 1st floor to do my security clearance questions. You sign some paperwork, answer questions like do you do drugs? drink? Have you been fired for any reason? tickets? (any ticket over $300 is bad) etc... After that is done with you get up and go to an electronic finger printing machine.

        I then went back downstairs to the AF processor and he had me sign some more papers. I was supposed to eat lunch (i got there at 515am, the MEPS doors opened at 630am and at this point it was 1pm) but, he sent me upstairs to take my oath instead. I gave my papers to the receptionist and by 110pm I swore into the Delayed Entry Program (DEP).

        I went downstairs, got a bagged lunch like muffe described and was escorted out the building at which point I walked to my car

        At this point I am in the Air Force Reserve until my job is secured, which should about 1-2 months from now. Although I have chosen my jobs in their order, if they are not available, I will be sent to Basic with an aptitude area (which is a bit disheartening). When they finally decide what my fate is I will come back into MEPS, do another Inspect, sign the new contract with the job they selected for me and be put into the Active Duty Air Force.

        This is a lot of information so please do not hesitate to ask me questions to fill in any holes i may have missed.