The U.S. Military Academy and the Culinary Institute of America are only about 25 miles away as the chopper flies, but the two Hudson Valley schools seem worlds apart. One school drills, the other grills.

Ten West Point cadets crossed the Hudson River this week to pair with culinary students for a day under a novel exchange program. The future chefs and future Army officers found common ground by cooking a dinner for themselves as a team.

Culinary Institute President Tim Ryan says a pair of daylong student exchanges nudged the learners out of their comfort zone. And people at both schools argue they're really not so different.

Discipline is crucial at both places and graduates are trained to be leaders — be it in a kitchen or in a desert.