I went to MEPS for one day and did everything. (Same day processing) It was down in Indianapolis on Sunday/Monday.
Sunday I met with my recruiter and participated in the “hot seat”. Basically, they gave me the low-down on what to expect and ran me through a practice round for the security clearance portion. After the hot seat, me and two other guys were driven down by Sgt. Jenkins to the hotel where we would be staying for the night. This was a Holiday Inn hotel in Carmel, Indiana so it was pretty nice. There were probably close to 60 other people who were staying the night there as well ready to be processed the next day. There were people joining different military branches. We got our room keys and meal tickets for dinner and breakfast and headed to our assigned rooms. I was rooming with a guy joining the Navy. He was really awesome. We had plenty of things in common and shared the idea that “we were glad not to have a weirdo roommate”. HA! So basically, Sunday was just getting down to the hotel and relaxing for the night. We spent most of the night watching football. My roommate worked nights and I am usually up until one or two in the morning, so we got about three hours of sleep total that night.
We had to be up by 04:30 so we had enough time to eat breakfast and get on the bus at 05:25 to take us to the MEPS location. Once we got off the bus it was shuffling around and waiting the entire day. We went through a security when we first got there: metal detectors and scanned baggage, the whole works since it was a federal building. We got started with a medical packet we carried around pretty much all day. The did tests on hearing, blood pressure, sight, urine, and blood work. Then it was time for the physical, where the doctor checks you out to find any problems. And they certainly check EVERY part of your body. Probably the most awkward thing in my life ever. After the physical, applicants had to go to the back room and strip down to nothing but our underwear and do a series of movements with our arms and legs. This is when we had to do the infamous “duck walk”. Hands would be placed on the hips and we would crouch down and walk heel than toe on each foot, trying to keep our balance.
Next was the testing portion of the process. I had to take two tests, the ASVAB and the TAPAS. The ASVAB was the most important one. It is a general knowledge test in certain areas. This test would determine what MOS positions you would qualify for. I scored a 90 on the ASVAB. That is a top-notch score. I think someone said around 60 was average? And I’m not sure but I think the 90 means I did 90% better than the rest of the applicants that have taken the test. Regardless, I qualified for any job within the Army. The TAPAS test was a personality test. They gave you 120 sets of two questions each that you had to choose from. I was supposed to pick the one that described me better. What really irritated me was that both of the questions didn’t apply to me at all, but I had to choose one. For example “I am one to take the easier job first and let other people take the harder tasks.” and “I can not control myself during stressful situations.” It killed me that I had to choose one of those!
Next was the security clearance. There was this BIG guy talking stern towards me trying to be intimidating. This part is when he asks me if I have ever been in trouble with the law, what kind of foreign affairs I might have, any unpaid tickets, and so on. I passed that easily stating “No sir” the whole way through.
Then once I was clear, I headed to talk to my advisor to secure my MOS as a 31B (Military Police), my ship date, and where I would be doing my training. We also discussed the payments I would be getting for school. I signed my contract here for the National Guard. Then I was shuffled to a little cubicle verifying more information and then scanned my fingerprints into the national database. Now it was time for the last step: swearing-in.
This was in a small room with all kind of flags in the front and a podium. We stood before the Commander and repeated the oath of enlistment as we rose our right hand. It was then I was an official soldier for the US Army National Guard.
I ship out 20130115 for Fort Leonard Wood MO for 20 weeks of training!