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Trading paces: West Point cadets trade places with culinary students in novel exchange

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    Cadets from West Point and students from the Culinary Institute of America have dinner together cooking the meals during an exchange program at the culinary school on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Hyde Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    A cadet from West Point and a student from the Culinary Institute of America work together in a kitchen during an exchange program at the culinary school on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Hyde Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    Chef Howie Velie demonstrates how to cut pork chops during an exchange program between West Point and Culinary Institute of America on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Hyde Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    Cadets from the West Point and students from the Culinary Institute of America review recipes before cooking during an exchange program at the culinary school on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Hyde Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    Chef Howie Velie talks to students and cadets in a kitchen during an exchange program between the West Point and the Culinary Institute of America on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Hyde Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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.

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