In December 2021 2Lt Max George was commissioned into 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES) and as a Queen’s Medal winner. Buoyed by reserve duty in his University Officer Training Corps and with Company Z of the 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, he completed the tactical phase of the arduous Platoon Commander’s Battle Course with apparent ease, finishing among the top 10 He joined his battalion. early, he had already earned rank qualifications from him through reserve service and proudly took command of 13 Platoon, Company D, 5 RIFLES. Even at this early stage, there was a natural leadership quality in Max that set him apart. Humble and down to earth, he was enthusiastic and energetic. His leadership was backed by steely determination and courage; he was tough but compassionate and naturally his riflemen loved him for it.
As a reservist, he was exemplary, routinely rated the best among his peers. He led teams in the Cambrian Patrol, adventurer training, and a military skills competition in Estonia. Max took life and service by the horns and fought them to fulfill his will.
In his tragically short time as a regular officer in 5 RIFLES, he had already built the best reputation for himself. Admired by all ranks, he was someone to watch and the commander everyone else was compared to. Nothing fazed him; he had previously represented the battalion’s Warrior Fitness Team and was the driving force behind a company excursion to London to see the regiment’s Sounding Retreat. This sums up Max, completely selfless, he took tremendous pride in helping the Riflemen develop and grow. Riflemen don’t care how much their officers know, until they know how much their officers care. It was obvious to everyone, not least 13 Platoon, that Max cared deeply and would do anything for anyone. Therefore, he was instantly respected, admired, and loved in equal measure; he was a young man others naturally gravitated towards and thus the loss of him is felt all the more deeply.
Max had a brilliant career ahead of him, excited by the prospect of an imminent overseas deployment to Canada and what might happen.
A remarkable and talented young man who had much to offer, he will be greatly missed by the Battalion and Regiment and we send our deepest condolences to all his family and friends.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hadfield OBE, Commanding Officer of 5 RIFLES said:
Max was a shining star. Effortlessly impressive, he was a natural commander, exuding fierce determination combined with selfless compassion. We love him for it. He stood out, and continues to stand out; we are much poorer for the loss of him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Major Joe Murray, Commanding Officer of Company D, 5 RIFLES said:
Max stood out from the crowd, and while she would have innately hated him, it was true. Diligent, bright-eyed and quick, he took on the role of commanding 13 platoon from the start; we were just beginning to understand Max’s exceptional potential. Unassuming and meticulous, it took Max very little time to adjust to his role.
Leaping feet first into battalion life, Max took command of his platoon early on. His concern for his Rifleman was evident in his frequent insightful questions about how he could best care for them. Incredibly fit, Max was a natural and immediate addition to the 5 RIFLES Warrior Fitness Team, showing his platoon the qualities he expected from them. Max was at the forefront of his peer group in terms of ability. Featured at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for his intellect, comprehensive military ability and practical performance, he received the Queen’s Medal, not that he would have told you in conversation. These qualities were made clear early on and throughout his tragically short time at D Company.
Max’s death will leave a huge void in 13 Platoon and the company at large, who have benefited greatly from the care and leadership he so ably provided. Martin, Vivienne, Claudia and the whole family, our hearts go out to you.
D Company has a long tradition of maintaining links with those who walk away from the Company, in that tradition; 2Lt Max George, once a dog, always a dog.
Lt. Joe Hayes, Commanding Officer of 14th Platoon, Company D, 5 RIFLES, said:
Max George was an exceptional man. I knew Max not only as a fellow platoon commander within D Company, but also as a dear friend. Max was an easy person to get along with and someone he could talk openly with about anything. Max and I share a brotherhood that few will have the honor to understand. Platoon commanders in The Rifles are expected to display humility and a selfless approach to the people they command. Max displayed all of these qualities. Max was a diligent person whose attention to detail was remarkable. He excelled at everything he set his mind to, and this is just one more testament to his tenacious character. Max was not only adored by his teammates, but also by the riflemen under his command. Max loved his work, and this was clear to everyone. Max’s drive and determination dissipated in everyone in the chain of command around him; As a fellow platoon commander, it was clear that 13 platoon was in good hands. It made me want to strive to be the best with him.
Max will be sorely missed by the Regiment, his fellow officers and all of D Company. “Max George, once a dog, always a dog.
Collective Thoughts, 13 Platoon Riflemen, Company D, 5 RIFLES:
2Lt Max George had only been with 13th Platoon for a few months, but in that time he made a deep and lasting impression on everyone he worked with. From the start, it was clear that 2Lt George was a very competent young officer. His rare talent was his interest and dedication to us; the riflemen he commanded. He knew that he worked for us and not the other way around. This instantly inspired us as a platoon to constantly want to improve and grow, as soldiers and as individuals. 2Lt George always went out of his way, day and night, to help those around him. He put himself on the same level as those he commanded, never expecting extra treatment and always returning favors received.
However, 2Lt Max George wasn’t all work. We had excellent social events, some of which he organized, such as our visit to the Regimental Sounding Retreat or overnight trips to Sandhurst to check on potential officers. We’d say he was always ‘one of a kind’, a true rifleman!
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said:
The passing of 2Lt George is an especially poignant reminder, as we commemorate Armed Forces Week, that our service personnel are always in harm’s way working to keep us safe. We are eternally grateful.
Max exemplified all the qualities that the Army represents, and as the testimonials show, we have lost a bright and talented young man who will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family, his friends and his regiment during this difficult time.