A professor at Bradford University who is a “dedicated and committed” Army Reservist has been honoured for his service.

Major Robert Friel has received the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate – an achievement that ranks just below the MBE.

The award is in recognition of his outstanding contribution and dedication to the Army Reserve.

An archaeologist in his day job, Major Friel joined what was until recently known as the Territorial Army in 1990.

He has given more than 24 years of service as a gunner, rising steadily in rank to become the battery commander of 269 (West Riding) Battery Royal Artillery, based at Carlton Barracks in Leeds.

Described as a dedicated and committed member of the Reserve Forces, Major Friel has been on two operational tours in Bosnia and Iraq. He also leads on community initiatives in both Bradford and Leeds, including promoting the service to employers and the Jane Tomlinson charity events.

He is also an honorary research fellow and archaeological consultant for the University of Bradford.

Colonel Carron Snagge, chief executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) in Yorkshire and the Humber, which runs the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificates awards, said: “Without the selfless commitment of many hundreds of volunteers across the region who give up their time outside of working hours, the reserve forces simply couldn’t exist.

“I am delighted that Robert’s service has been commemorated in this way and I have no doubt he will continue to make a great difference to the Army Reserve.”

Major Friel said: “I feel that serving in the Reserve Forces provides the individual with the opportunity to play a more active and meaningful role in today’s society. To be recognised in this way is a great honour and privilege.”

He is one of only seven people in West Yorkshire to be awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate, which is presented as a mounted scroll.

He was presented with his certificate by Dr Ingrid Roscoe, the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, at a private ceremony at the Yorkshire Officer Training Regiment in Carlton Barracks, Leeds, For more information about the role of Reservists or to find out about becoming an adult volunteer in the cadets, visit the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association website at rfca-yorkshire.org.uk.