Videos: Today's Military
  • MEPS: Security and Background Check(01:40)

    Every applicant who goes through MEPS is given an FBI-level background check. MEPS staff will also ask applicants a series of questions about their backgrounds, for example, if they have used illegal drugs. It is crucial that applicants answer honestly. Admitting a past offense does not necessarily mean an applicant will be automatically disqualified, but dishonesty does. In some cases, lying at MEPS is a criminal offense.

    Applicants are also fingerprinted for their records at MEPS. Additional processing may be required of applicants whose future military job calls for higher security clearance. Security is of utmost importance at MEPS. A lot of personal information is being submitted, and great care is taken to respect applicants’ privacy and protect their identities. Biometric screening has been implemented at all MEPS to increase efficiency and safety. 

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Speaker 1: Good morning, everybody. I'm Sgt. 1st Class Ketcham. I'm the operations NCRC here at the Boston MEPS. I'm going to talk real quick about biometric enrollment. We did this this morning when you checked in, on your first visit at the MEPS.

Yeah, when they first arrive here at the MEPS, we do biometric enrollment on all the applicants. Basically, we're going to take their fingerprint. We use their primary finger, which is usually their right hand. And we'll also do a backup finger on their left hand. And then we're going to take a photo of them, which intakes 20 different points on their face. Once we get them into the database, all they have to do is show up at a station, get a copy of their fingerprint and, you know, that identifies them. And it's also a security measure because, if somebody tries to come in and that's not the person, we use another finger that's going to tell us that as well. So it's going to keep all the applicants safe as well.

Okay, once you're done with that, you need to come see the folks in processing, all right? You need to be open and honest with them when they sit you down there.

Speaker 2: You'll see during your visit here at the MEPS that the biometric process is the first step. We'll also be processing your fingerprints, disclosing any involvement you may have had with law enforcement.

They're going to ask you about 14 questions. They're going to ask you about speeding tickets, involvement with authorities. If you have any court cases open or closed, anything that you need to tell them you need to make sure that that is documented. Okay? Is that understood?

Speakers: Yes, sir.

Speaker 2: Committing to obeying the orders of the president and the orders of the officers that they fall under, and also their adherence to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. These are important concepts for them to understand, and that they will be held to a higher standard than people that they've gone to high school with.