Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

Freedom's Front Door

The MEPS plays a vital role in maintaining the nation's military might by ensuring that each new applicant of the Armed Forces meets the high standards required by the Department of Defense. The MEPS Guidance Counselor ensures that each new member of the NJ Army National Guard understands their enlistment contract prior to taking the Oath of Enlistment.

Entry Process


"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." -
President John F. Kennedy


1. Contact a recruiter
You start the process by contacting your local Guard recruiter. No obligation, no guarantees - it’s just a way of letting us know that you want to find out more.

2. Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
If you and your recruiter agree that you are a good fit for the Guard, you will take a standardized test called the ASVAB. It is designed to discover your strengths, so we can find the best place in the Guard for you - the one where you will fit best and be most likely to succeed. Your recruiter can give you an ASVAB pre-test to see how well you might do. You can also purchase ASVAB study guides at your local bookstore or utilize ASVAB resources found on the internet. Many high schools in New Jersey also sponsor the ASVAB. If you are in high school, check with your guidance department to see if the ASVAB will be given in your school.

3. Complete your application
Complete the application and gather required source documents. You will need to provide copies and/or originals of these important documents to your recruiter. A sample list follows:
  • Social security card
  • Driver’s license
  • Verification of citizenship by birth or naturalization
  • High school diploma/transcripts or GED completion certificate
  • If applicable, copies of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or separation order
  • Birth certificates for your children under 18 years of age
  • Court documents if ordered to pay spousal and/or child support
  • Documentation of any junior ROTC or college ROTC experience
  • College diploma or official transcripts
  • Student loan documentation from NSLDS website
  • Direct Deposit Form SF1199 completed and signed by an official from your financial institution

4. Enlist
Once you have determined that you want to become a soldier in the Army National Guard and you have completed your application process with your recruiter you are ready to enlist. At this point, your recruiter will make all the arrangements to finalize your enlistment at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) located at Fort Dix, NJ or Fort Hamilton, NY. At the MEPS you will:
  • Complete a physical examination with our medical personnel
  • Complete a personal security screening and be fingerprinted
  • Lock in your ship date for Basic Combat Training (BCT)
  • Confirm the military job that you have selected
  • Approve any benefits and bonuses
  • Review and sign all documents with the MEPS Guidance Counselor
  • Take your Oath of Enlistment

At the end of this day, assuming everything goes smoothly, you will be a Soldier in the New Jersey Army National Guard.

5. Attend Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP)
Your ship date - the day you leave for Basic - will depend on your Guard job and the school you will attend for that job. You might ship within just a few weeks, or it might be delayed for several months. Until you ship, you will attend the RSP one weekend a month to learn Guard rules and structure, and start fitness and classroom training. Learn more about our RSP program.

6. Ship to Basic Combat Training
You are ready to start becoming a Soldier. In just ten weeks, you will be physically and mentally stronger than you have ever been. After Basic Combat Training you will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to learn your military job skill. After AIT you will return to New Jersey a fully qualified soldier ready to begin your weekend drills with your Guard unit.

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