Air Force Eliminates Traditional Recruit Travel Packet Press Release

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – For generations, new military recruits have departed Military Entrance Processing Stations en route to basic training bases. In their hands or under their arms, each clutched a large manila envelope containing their individual enlistment records, to be turned over to military officials upon arrival at their final destination.

For new Air Force recruits, however, the days of hand carrying records containing dozens of pages of forms ended Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Employing a combination of advances in policy, processing, and information technology in both organizations, the United States Military Entrance Processing Command, headquartered in North Chicago, Ill., and the Air Force eliminated the traditional record packet. This move is projected to save more than 3.6 million printed pages per year.

And the recruits? Each now receives a white legal size envelope, easily placed in pocket or purse, which contains only three items: a meal voucher, one copy of their orders with travel instructions printed on the reverse side, and their travel itinerary.

Recent Air Force recruits preparing to depart the Chicago Military Entrance Processing Station for Basic Military Training. They pose holding up their “shipper packets” which became a thing of the past on March 27, 2018. Photo Chicago MEPS.

New Air Force recruits ready to depart the Los Angeles Military Entrance Processing Station, Tuesday morning, Mar. 27, 2018. Each holds up their envelope containing only three pieces of paper, which replaced the bulky packet depicted in the previous photo. Photo Los Angeles MEPS.