News | Aug. 19, 2020

United States Military Entrance Processing Command COVID-19 Questions and Answers

Q1.  What is the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM) doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease?

A1.  USMEPCOM has been and continues to adjust operations to mitigate risk to the health, safety and welfare of the nation’s military applicants, its employees and contractors, military recruiting and training partners, and the family members of all.

In February, all Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) and Remote Processing Stations (RPS) began:

  • Directing staff and applicants to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines
  • Ensuring the wear of masks by applicants, servicemembers, and employees
  • Educating and reminding all to wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Directing all to cover coughs and sneezes properly
  • Posting signs to explain symptoms to consider
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Adding social distancing measures at its stations

Q2.  What social distancing measures were added?

A2.  The MEPS and RPS have implemented the following social distancing measures:

  • Limiting access to mission-essential personnel only
  • Limiting the number of people in ceremony rooms
  • Taking extra measures to put distance between everyone in stations, including distancing seating in waiting rooms and dining areas
  • Operating all applicant and recruit ground transportation vehicles at 50% of capacity

Q3.  Has USMEPCOM changed its lodging procedures to protect applicants?

A3.  Yes, applicants are now roomed individually instead of two to a room at contract lodging facilities (CLF).

Q4. How is the MEPS conducting the Oath of Enlistment Ceremonies?

A4.  Unfortunately, Oath of Enlistment Ceremonies are not public at this time. The measures include:

  • No longer allowing family members or friends of applicants, volunteers or other visitors to enter their stations
  • In lieu of permitting guest attendance, to the greatest extent  possible, we are streaming Oath of Enlistment ceremonies on social media platforms in order to allow friends and family to witness the ceremony, in which applicants raise their right hand to take an Oath to “support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”
  • Contact information for MEPS is located on the USMEPCOM website’s main page at https://www.mepcom.army.mil/. Family and friends can locate this information and call MEPS to inquire whether or not that station is streaming ceremonies.

Q5.  Are MEPS and RPS screening people before they can enter their facilities?

A5.  Yes, the MEPS and RPS are conducting screening activities for possible COVID-19 infection, to include:

  • Taking the temperature of all applicants and shippers in a designated area prior to entering the MEPS or RPS and checking in at the CLF
  • Requiring trained MEPS personnel to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), consisting of a surgical mask, eye protection, gloves and a gown, when measuring temperatures
  • Requiring those wearing PPE to don and remove it in accordance with CDC Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment (03/14/2020), https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/PPE-Sequence-508.pdf
  • Returning all applicants and shippers with a temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit to their respective military recruiting service for further disposition, and deferring processing for these applicants and shippers for 14 days
  • Taking the temperature of all MEPS/RPS employees, MEPS/RPS contractors, and military service representatives upon entry to the MEPS/RPS facility
  • Requesting all MEPS/RPS employees, MEPS/RPS contractors, and military service representatives with a temperature equal to or greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit to return home and seek further medical evaluation, and not return to the MEPS/RPS until symptoms resolve
  • Recording all names, positions, and temperature measurements in temperature logs

In addition to temperature screening, the MEPS and RPS are using screening questionnaires in the following manner:

  • Returning all applicants and shippers who answer “yes” to any question on the screening questionnaire to their respective military recruiting service for further disposition, and deferring processing for these applicants and shippers for 14 days
  • Requiring all MEPS/RPS employees, MEPS/RPS contractors, and military service representatives to complete a Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Screening Questionnaire at least once per calendar day at home prior to departing for work at the MEPS/RPS.
  • Requesting all MEPS/RPS employees, MEPS/RPS contractors, and military service representatives who answer “yes” to any question on the screening questionnaire to return home and seek further medical evaluation, and not return to the MEPS until symptoms resolve
  • Storing screening questionnaires in applicant and shipper MEPS medical records