A 70-mile march of teachable moments

This is the U.S. Naval Academy’s idea of spring break: a 70-mile march along the craggy spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a sesquicentennial tribute to Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and his torturous Shenandoah Valley Campaign, the Washington Post reports. Fourteen midshipmen forsook Cancun or Panama City last month for a five-day slog along the Appalachian Trail, eating peanut butter and gorp and drinking water collected from mountain streams. Only nine completed the journey. Injury and exhaustion claimed the rest — a development that only reinforced the week’s lessons about hardship and resolve…Retracing some of Stonewall’s steps heralds a new academic approach at the Annapolis academy, one of five federal service academies that train future officers. Midshipmen are among the few college students required to study leadership — and to learn the skills well enough to lead sailors or Marines into battle…

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