United States Military Entrance Processing Command


                        The USMEPCOM Story

The United States Military Entrance Processing Command is the vital link between recruiting and training today’s armed forces. The command’s motto, “Freedom’s Front Door” symbolizes the command’s mission of determining the physical, mental and moral qualifications of every member of the armed services. There is no other door. Knocking on and walking through “Freedom’s Front Door” isn’t easy. While the door is open to everyone, only qualified applicants succeed. Thousands of new service members proudly walk through that door each year to fill the ranks of our nation’s armed forces.

USMEPCOM, with headquarters in North Chicago, Ill., is a joint service command staffed with people from all five branches of service. The command, through its 65 Military Entrance Processing Stations, determines whether applicants are qualified for enlistment based on standards set by each of the services. Two geographic sectors and twelve battalions provide intermediate management in operating the MEPS. The Eastern Sector Headquarters and Western Sector Headquarters are colocated with the command headquarters in North Chicago.

“From green walls to red carpet” is an accurate description of how the examination process has evolved through the years. Reflecting the command’s “Red Carpet” treatment for applicants, processing at the MEPS is tailored to the needs of today’s applicants. This is a radical departure from the old practice of herding young people through a maze of examination stations in painfully drab, musty, green-walled military buildings. Today’s applicants are treated with dignity and receive a relaxed first military experience thanks to a combination of individual customer orientation and modern, efficiently designed facilities.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, known as the ASVAB, is an integral part of the qualification process. The command administered 391,000 enlistment ASVAB tests during fiscal year 2018 at the 65 MEPS and more than 179 Mobile Examining Team sites throughout the country. The  ASVAB  is offered  as  a pencil  and paper  test at MET  sites  and  as a  Computerized


Adaptive Test (CAT-ASVAB) at the MEPS. Either version of the ASVAB provides basic qualification and assurance that enlistees have a strong chance of success in specific technical training and occupations.

Additionally, 702,000 high school students were tested under the Department of Defense Student ASVAB Testing Program during the 2017-18 school year. The student ASVAB provides a counseling tool for guiding students in their academic and vocational program while furnishing a“talent pool” of qualified potential enlistees to the military recruiting services.

Thorough medical examinations are used to determine applicants’ physical qualifications for enlistment. Near the end of fiscal year 2018, more than 396 MEPS physicians administered 305,000 medical examinations. These examinations help ensure that applicants can meet the demanding physical challenges of basic training and military service.

Background screening of applicants is equally important to military entrance processing. It includes pre-enlistment interviews, fingerprinting and initiating Entrance National Agency Checks.

By determining applicants’ qualifications for enlistment, USMEPCOM provides military training centers with fully qualified, motivated, top-notch recruits. During fiscal year 2018, 226,000 young people met those rigid standards en route to service in the armed forces.

In the event of mobilization, the USMEPCOM mission would adjust to meet the requirements for induction and deployment of forces. If our national security is threatened and mobilization is required, the number of people processed would quadruple, with most individuals reporting through the Selective Service registration system.

Processing today’s armed forces requires USMEPCOM to have a highly competent, technical and motivated team of professionals. Each MEPS military and civilian member is a vital part of attaining the ultimate goal ... bringing the nation’s best young people on to the country’s defense team.