Looking on the ARRL web site, you will find the following description of the A-1 Operator Club.
Only the best operators can qualify for the A-1 Operator Club, amateurs who have met the highest operating standards. But you can't apply; you must be recommended independently by two amateurs who already belong to the A-1 Operator Club. Who knows? Fine-tune your operating skills, and one of these days you may be pleasantly surprised when the mailman delivers an A-1 Operator Club certificate.The A-1 Operator Club was first organized in May 1933. By 1934 there were 400 members and in 1938 the club hit the 1,000 mark. That number had only reached 3,000 by 1995 because, as the A-1 Operator Club newsletter states:
Then, as now, nominations were not made lightly; through the years, recognition as an A-1 Operator has represented an unsolicited acknowledgment of one's high standing among one's peers.In 2008, just 207 amateurs were appointed to the Club. As of June 15, 2009, there are a total of 5,354 on the roster.
On Monday, June 15, 2009, I was more than "pleasantly surprised" to receive a certificate stating that "Clark Stewart, W8TN, is a member of the ARRL A-1 Operator Club." What a surprise! I have no way to tell who nominated me for membership in this august group but in looking over the roster, I see many well-known calls including at least 14 members of the WVDXA! So, whoever felt that I was worthy of nomination into the A-1 Operator Club, I sincerely thank you for your nomination and will strive to live up to the ideals of this group.