Well my wife tells me once the ROTC liason submits your paperwork they pretty much are out of the picture. It's the people at Maxwell that pour over it from then on so I guess it's not that important but it always helps I think. They were helpful. In our case, we heard the same bunk about LOA's getting cut but it turned out not to be the case. In general there were two waves of LOA's that went out. Real competitive candidates were approached early by West Point b/c they always have a higher number that go to other service academies. Same thing to a greater degree happens if you apply to the Merchant Marine Academy as well. I would apply to anything and everything and just see what happens. Good luck.