Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis, a former Major in the special forces, who saved countless lives by developing innovative training to help troops spot improvised explosive devices (IED), has received am MBE.
With the presentation by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace yesterday, the Labour politician became the first MP in more than 60 years to receive a military award while still in office.
He was only elected to Parliament in March, winning the Barnsley Central by-election, and has already been made a Shadow Culture Minister.
Mr Jarvis, who served with the Parachute Regiment and fought in Iraq and Afghanistan during his 15-year military career, said he had a “eureka” moment when he realised the training could reap huge rewards.
“I was stood in the jungle in Brunei and I saw that the fantastic instructors were teaching a tracking skill the British Army had had for 50 years. And I knew from my experiences in Afghanistan this would be a valuable tool – that was the eureka moment – and I knew there and then we should be giving everybody this skill and we now do.”
Before leaving the Army, the former Major designed and delivered a training system that teaches troops to spot the tell tale signs of IEDs – such as disturbed earth. His citation highlighted the impact of this, stating: “It has been highly effective and has undoubtedly saved lives in Afghanistan.”
The MP also paid tribute to a constituent, Territorial Army Private Matthew Thornton, from the Yorkshire Regiment, killed last month by an explosion in Afghanistan. “We’ve got young people from across the country, from my constituency, exposed to that risk doing a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances to help keep our country safe, I think that’s a good thing,” he said.