JB MDL MEPS supports new recruits

By Sgt. Richard Hoppe | 123rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment | Oct. 9, 2014

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — While waiting in the Commander's briefing room at the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Station here, Shaquan Bagby, a native of Philadelphia cracks jokes amongst a room of otherwise serious yet eager peers to help lighten the mood.

Like his peers, Bagby said he is both nervous and excited to be enlisting into military service.

"I know we're here to do business at the end of the day, but, you know, we can still have a little fun before we head off to basic training," Bagby said.

Bagby said he's joining the Army Reserves to help protect his family, receive assistance paying for college, travel and receive professional development skills to become a good leader.

The JB MDL MEPS team applies care and knowledge while assisting a small percentage of the U.S. population take their first bold steps toward military service.

The MEPS team focuses on a "red carpet service" including a friendly atmosphere, assuring applicants are comfortable, and making sure these future service members are aware of their obligations and implications, said U.S. Air Force Maj. David C. Adams, commander of the JB MDL MEPS.

The applicants make up one to three percent of the overall population who choose to serve their country. Adams said MEPS is where applicants will most likely encounter military service and ideals for the first time.

"We are the face of the Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and the Army," Adams said.

During their evaluation process at MEPS, applicants are evaluated on their vocational aptitude, physical ability and conduct.

Applicants are introduced to up-to-date military training, briefings and testing while they move from station to station throughout the day.

Bagby said he isn't intimidated by the MEPS process like some of his other peers. He realizes that military service members are people just like anyone else.

"I'm here. I'm enjoying my experience, and it's been a fun day so far," Bagby said.

The JB-MDL MEPS continues to evaluate and swear in approximately 350 civilians a month with their red-carpet service and training.

"We are serving them, as we expect them to serve as they get into their service," Adams said.