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Military Glossary

MEPS: Oath of Enlistment (02:18)

The Oath of Enlistment is the final stage of the MEPS process, when applicants officially become members of the U.S. Military.

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Department of Defense

The final step at MEPS is the Oath of Enlistment. Applicants are presented with a final contract to sign, and a MEPS official explains the commitment the applicant is about to make. Then an official walks the applicant through the Oath ceremony, which may be administered to a single applicant or a group. Friends and family members are invited to watch.

Applicants who qualify at MEPS are divided into two groups: Shippers, who will leave for Basic Training that day, and Deppers, who have enrolled in the Delayed Entry (or Enlistment) Program (DEP). Deppers will ship to Basic Training at a designated time in the future, and may require a second visit to MEPS to complete processing. In either case, the applicant is thoroughly briefed on next steps. Shippers are also briefed on travel to their Basic Training location, which is paid for by MEPS. This is their first official order as a member of the United States Military.

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