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Taking the first steps at Tampa MEPS

Photos by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Thunderbolt editor

As a hopeful future Marine, 17-year-old Ronald Hyatt Jr., nervously takes the oath of enlistment Tuesday from Army Capt. James Zirkle, Tampa MEPS officer in charge of operations. Hyatt is in the Delayed Enlistment Program until he graduates high school later this year.

Photo by SSgt Randy Redman

Located just six miles north of MacDill, Tampa's Military Entrance Processing Station is often overlooked as a necessary part of the mission to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Passing all the required tests is an applicant's first major step in becoming a member of the armed forces. Tampa MEPS processes up to 80 applicants a day for all branches of the military.

Good eyesight is a must for every branch of the military. Jan Frost, a civilian medical screener, puts an applicant through the process with one of the vision testing machines.

Photo by SSgt Randy Redman

One of the many steps in each applicant's day is to have their fingerprints taken. No more black ink, though; MEPS uses a special scanner to record every detail.

Photo by SSgt Randy Redman

Army Sgt. Rodel Gonzalez, Tampa MEPS medical technician, administers the new automated hearing test for a group of applicants. Sergeant Gonzalez works together with other branches of service and civilians to ensure all applicants are properly screened before beginning basic training.

Photo by SSgt Randy Redman

Enlisted applicants must have an Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test score to qualify them for individual career fields. There are three different versions.

Photo by SSgt Randy Redman

 

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