I've been trying to read up on the letter of assurance and it seems one thing is clear: no one seems to know anything. One baffling number I saw was that the USNA issues 1500 LOAs. However they are also reportedly rare. They accept 1200 into each class. So they issue more LOAs than they have positions, plus everyone else, the huge majority of people, don't get LOAs. Are the kids getting LOAs that reluctant to take an appointment? I also have seen that the MOC gets a copy from the academy and elsewhere I have read that you need to mail your MOC a copy of the LOA. The LOAs compete equally with everyone else for nominations, and other places say the academy will find you a place. Then there is the whole question of whether or not the MOC is charged against his 5 places for the LOA. Some say yes. Some say no. Without any sort of authoritative voice on these issues, I think the best bet is to say, "it's nice to have one, but doesn't mean anything until you have the appointment in hand, you aren't in a better or worse positions with or without one". Is that fair?