Military Entrance Processing
For past couple months or so I have been processing with the US Air Force. I decided to do this a few months before my 18th birthday. In December, I turned 18 and Rob Hines said he and his friend Tommy Jinks would take me up to the recruiting center to talk to the recruiter. It took a while for both of them to take me but eventually they did. It was in January when they finally did.
So we went up to the recruiting center and the guy was there. We walked in and he asked for the basic information (name, age, birthday, and stuff like that). After talking to him for a little while he said to come in a week later, which would be on a Wednesday, and talk to him and get a little bit of paper work done. So I came in the next week and he wasn’t there, I called him and he said he forgot about it and to come in the next week. So the next week came around and I called him before I went and he said he wouldn’t be able to make it because he was at the M.E.P.S. (Military Entrance Processing Station). It ended up being about three weeks before it actually happened.
We did all the necessary paper work except for the stuff for M.E.P.S. He said I was overweight for my height according to the Air Force and said I needed to lose some weight. I lost what I thought I needed to lose and went to his office a few weeks later. I got in and I had lost the weight and he asked when could I go to M.E.P.S. and I said well aren’t you supposed to send in the medical prescreen thing and he said oh yeah. It turned out that we forgot about the fact that I needed to get the medical documentation for getting stitches on my wrist in 2007. In the recruiting office we went ahead and got my height without my shoes on and came in about an inch shorter and he said that I should go ahead and lose the weight for the height below what he got me at just in case that’s what the people at M.E.P.S. got me at.
The weight I had to get to was 214 and I weighed about 220, so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. He also told me to get the documentation for my stitches. So the next Friday evening I called the hospital that I got them at and they said that they couldn’t even tell me if they existed over the phone, so I asked them when they were open so I could come in and see if they have them and if so to get them. The hours ended up being from 8:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. and it was already too close to that to go and they weren’t open on the weekends. So the Monday after that weekend I got Tracey Hines to check me out of school early to go up to the hospital to get the documents. It took a while for me to find the actual place where they were at, but when I did I didn’t have much of a problem getting them. After I got the documents I called the recruiter but he didn’t answer so I swung by his office any way. He ended up being there so I dropped them off with him and he asked if I was ready for M.E.P.S. yet and I wasn’t because I hadn’t lost enough weight yet so I told him to wait another week.
The next week went by and I still needed time lose weight yet so I couldn’t go that week. The next week I was ready so I called him to see if I could go and he said that he hadn’t heard yet so it would have to wait again. So the next week I called him again and he said that he still hadn’t heard back from them yet so he called them and he said that M.E.P.S. said that they never got my paper work so he resent it and said it would have to wait another week. The next week I called again and he said that he still hadn’t heard yet so he called them again and they said they just haven’t got to it yet and they would look at it, so the recruiter said that maybe they would approve it in time for me to go Wednesday and if not maybe Thursday. Well it ended up that M.E.P.S. didn’t approve the paper work until Thursday afternoon so it had to wait another week. This time it was for sure though because it had been approved and I had turned in everything that I needed to. I called him the next Monday to make sure that it was still happening and he said yes and to be at his office about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon to get whatever else needed to be completed finished.
So I got Tracey to check me out of school early because my bus that I ride doesn’t get to the house until about 10 till 4. So she came and got me and we went back to the house to get my stuff together and to do whatever I needed to do. So I got my stuff together and I everything I needed to do done. So we headed to the recruiting office and dropped me off. I got there and my recruiter and I talked about what I need to make sure I had everything. Well it so happened that I needed my birth certificate and I didn’t bring it. So I called Tracey and got her to run it over to the office for me. While I was waiting I got everything completed that needed to be and the recruiter and I talked about what the process was going to look like at the M.E.P.S. and waited for the other person that was going as well to get there. The other guy got there and we went over what was going to happen the next day one more time.
We finally left the recruiting station and headed over to the hotel that we were going to stay at that night. This other guy and I got to the hotel and went to the floor we were supposed to and signed in. Everyone there got their room keys and two meal tickets, one for dinner that night and one for breakfast the next morning, and went to their rooms to drop off their stuff. After I dropped off my stuff I went downstairs to eat dinner. I ended up getting a cheeseburger and fries. When it finally got to my table I started eating. The cheeseburger was ok but the fries were not. After I finished eating dinner I checked out the stuff we could do at the hotel while we were there. At about 20 till 8, I went to the lounge for the meeting the new people had to go to at 8. Once it was 8, the guy in charge of us talked to us for a while and we watched a video that was required for us to watch.
After the meeting, I went back to the room and changed into shorts to go and run on one of the treadmills in the exercise room. After I ran I went back to the lounge and played video games for a while. At about a quarter till nine, I went upstairs to my room to get ready for bed. I ended up going to bed at about 10 that night. The next morning we had an early start, we woke up at about 4:30. After I was finished getting ready, I went downstairs for breakfast, which wasn’t that good. After breakfast we all had to wait in the lobby for the bus that was taking us over to M.E.P.S. Once the bus got there we loaded up and left.
After we got there, we lined up outside according to what branch of service we were going into and turned our paperwork into the person that was in charge of the paperwork for each branch. After that, we went inside and had to go through a metal detector and get our bags checked then we had to put our bags in a baggage room. Once we were finished with that we signed in and got our medical charts for the day to give to each doctor that we saw. After everyone got their charts, we went through them to see if they were right and to fill out more paperwork. Then we started on the actual medical stuff. First I got my hearing checked and the first time I did it, it didn’t work properly, so I had to do it again. After I got that finished I had to get my blood drawn, for anyone that doesn’t know I don’t like needles, so the whole time I had to turn away and close my eyes.
Once I finished getting my blood drawn, I had to go pee in a cup to get a urine test done and one of the doctors had to watch to make sure it was my pee (awkward I know). Once I got that done I thought I had to see the doctor to get a physical done but once it was my turn he said I had to get my vision checked so I went and got that done. After getting my vision checked, I waited to see the doctor. Once I got in we began, now this was probably the most awkward experience of the day. At first he asked some questions about my medical history, and then he started examining me. At first he checked my ears, then my eyes, then my nose, then my breathing, and stuff like that. Then he told me to stand up so I stood up and he sat in a chair in front of me. Then the weirdest words came out of his mouth, he said now drop your shorts so I can check your testicles.
Then he said to turn around, bend over, and pull your butt cheeks apart, and at first I was a little dumbfounded at what just came out of his mouth but eventually I did it and he said we are done. After my awkward physical I had to get my height and weight and do a physical exam where they make sure all your joints and stuff work properly. I did all that and after that I had to get my vision re-checked because the other guy messed up. I finished the vision check then I was done with the medical part of the process. After the medical exam, they gave me some papers to take to the Air Force liaison, or job counselor basically. I handed my paper work to him and then went to eat lunch; which was ok.
After lunch, I went to the waiting lobby and waited for them to call me in. After a while they called me in and it was time for me to give them my top five jobs and to do several other things. In the liaison office I did the job thing and had to answer some more questions. After I was done in there they told me to go back out to the lobby and wait for them to call me back to operations. They called me back after waiting a while and I headed back there. When I got back to operations I had to answer more questions and they threatened me that I would go to jail for lying to them and all that fun stuff. After all the questions I had to get my finger prints done. So I got all my finger prints done and had to take them back to my liaison. I took it to them and they said I had to go back to the waiting lobby and wait for them to swear me in. I had to wait for another hour or so for them call us back to swear in.
They finally called us back to swear in and everyone else that was left that hadn’t sworn in yet went back. So they swore us in and we signed the oath that we took to swear in, which we get to keep so I don’t get the point of it. After that I once again had to go to the liaison office and give them my enlistment papers. I handed them to them and it was time to leave. My recruiter was already there to pick up me and the other guy that came with us. So we left and got in the car and asked him what was next. He said that every month we had to do two face to face meetings and the first one was the first Tuesday of every month.
He also said that in about a month or so, maybe longer, he would know what job I have. Once he knew what my job was, he would call me up to the recruiting station and I would sign my job contract, but if I don’t like it I don’t have to sign it. Once I we got back to the recruiting station from M.E.P.S. we talked a little more about it and I got to get some free stuff. I was finally done for the day and was finished with the whole process. So now I have to do the two face to face meetings and wait to hear about my job but until then I’m done for now.