Ben Farrar

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I’m a full-time student at the University of Leeds School of Law, studying for a Masters in MSc Security, Conflict and Justice. I specialise in International Criminal Law, Counter-Terrorism, Maritime Strategy, and National Intelligence.

In my spare time I work as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve based at HMS Ceres in Leeds. I am a Midshipman and in the training pipeline to be trained strength in the Amphibious Warfare branch. Aside from my fleet role and training, I am also the Deputy Recruitment and Engagement Officer (DREO) for HMS Ceres. In this role I advise people on the recruitment process, roles available and the various stages and tests. The engagement side of the role involves organising and helping with events such as the National Armed Forces Day Event 2022 in Scarborough, Operation London Bridge for HM Queen Elizabeth II Funeral and the Great Yorkshire Show.

My time within the Reserves has allowed me to work and visit with various militaries around the world. I have been to Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Heligoland, Ireland and circumnavigated the UK. I have also had the opportunity to host politicians and heads of states from other countries including the President of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as being part of a tri-service honour guard for the late Queen Elizabeth II. In September 2023 I will transfer to a full-time role within the Royal Navy. A career in any military service, particularly the Navy, is something I would suggest to anyone.

What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?

Try your hardest and not to worry so much on how others perceive you. I enjoy what I do and that’s what matters most.

I also wish I’d studied harder for my GCSE Maths, English and German. Whilst doing my GCSEs I never thought I’d need German… the first country I deployed to and nation I worked alongside was Germany!

What are you most proud of?

Graduating from my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hull with a 2:1 in Politics and International Relations in 2019. I didn’t get the best A levels in the world, and wasn’t too enthusiastic on going to university. However, I went and absolutely loved every second of it. I miss it now, hence why I decided to return to university to study a masters three years after graduating.

There were extraneous circumstances which occurred whilst at university and I am very proud of myself for overcoming the odds to achieve this.