YORK, PA - Looks can be deceiving.
Standing in a 5’ 4” and supporting a petite frame, junior Ilana Kline (Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill) is now in the midst of her third season sporting the Green and White for the women’s soccer team. Though its not only her devotion to the Spartan program that people should center their attention, but rather her dedication to the military on way to becoming a 2nd Lieutenant.
After an indecisive freshman year, Kline made a choice that she would stick with. She joined the Marines and decided to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS).
“I went through freshmen year of college and I had no clue what I wanted to do,” Kline said. “I was a business major so I was not sure if I liked that or not so I started looking for other things that were more physically and mentally required.”
OCS is a designed summer program geared to educate and evaluate candidates to ensure they have the ability to serve as a successful officer in the Operating Forces. Kline is currently engaged is two six-week programs with the OCS in Quantico, Va., having completed her first program during the summer of 2008 and is set to complete her final session prior to her senior year.
Kline describes OSC as a boot camp where you can also go to classes that train you on the broader aspects that are necessary to become an officer. Kline was not the only person that had a hard time grasping boot camp, but also head women’s soccer coach Vicki Sterner.
“Her body is so slight, it amazes me that she went through boot camp,” Sterner said. “You never would have that thought she would have been interested in the service. Ilana has that sweet personality and you don’t really look at her as a Marine.”
Despite others viewpoints, Kline is in fact in the Marines and she has the stories to prove it.
Kline’s most vivid moment occurred while she was standing in formation, as she noticed one of her fellow candidates getting screaming at down the line. So she decided to peek down his way to see what was going. Apparently that was the wrong move and her drill sergeant let her know.
“Candidate what the [heck] are you looking at,” Kline screams as she reenacts her drill sergeant.
At that point the drill sergeant was directly in her face screaming in a fury. As would be the response of most the first time they experience someone screaming in there face in such a manner, Kline stuttered back trying to respond after the sudden explosion from the drill sergeant. This was the beginning of a long week of many other unforgettable experiences that would occur.
“Mentally they break you down to build you up… you have to understand that your going to make a mistake, your going to do something wrong, your going to have a bad day, but overall in you can’t let it get to you and you need to keep pushing,” Kline said.
OCS has also proven to be beneficial in numerous aspects of Kline’s soccer game. It has taught her to be more disciplined and it has helped her stay in shape. She noticed that when she came back from her first OCS training for the beginning of her sophomore year, that she was probably playing her best soccer ever. She has also taken the criticism as a way to motivate her, whether it was on or off the field
“She is very disciplined, dedicated, and committed,” Sterner said. “I think Ilana is the type of person that is she makes up her mind to do something she will not fail.”
Though Kline will finish her OSC training, she is not obligated to the Marines in any way, as they allow her the freedom to change her mind about the service throughout the process. After graduation she foresees herself going to The Basic School (TBS) where she might dabble in the fields of either aviation or law.
Written by Matt Clark - York College sports information student intern