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Max joined the UN Spacy aboard the SDF-1 Macross during the events of Space War I. His first combat assignment was to Skull Squadron's Vermillion Team, under the newly promoted Hikaru Ichijo. Max quickly distinguished himself in combat, which came as a surprise to those around him due to his quiet personality. Max would play a key role in helping his comrades escape a Zentradi ship after a botched recon mission leads to the whole team's capture.
After earning a reputation for his skill, word of Max finds its way to female Zentradi ace Milia Fallyna. Seeking a challenge, Milia attacks the Macross to draw Max out and engages him in a dogfight. Eventually, Max is able to damage Milia's Queadluun Rau power armor and drive her off.
Later, Max encounters Milia in an arcade within the Macross. Not realizing her identity, he challenges Milia to a friendly game on a Valkyrie simulator. Max wins, and manages to secure a "date" with Milia before she rushes off. The date takes an unexpected turn as Milia attacks Max with a knife. Once again, Max defeats her, and in doing so Milia realizes her feelings toward Max were actually love. The two are married shortly thereafter, as the first human-Zentradi couple.
As a team leader, Max continued to distinguish himself for the remainder of Space War I. In its aftermath, he continued to serve in Skull Squadron, based out of Macross City. During this time, he and Milia had their first daughter, Komilia.
Rising through the ranks of the UN Spacy, Max was eventually awarded command of the Macross 7 colony fleet. Also aboard the massive City 7 colony ship were his youngest daughter Mylene and now estranged wife Milia. Several years into its journey, Macross 7 would fall under attack from the mysterious Protodeviln.
Fortunately, forward thinking Max had already established a program to investigate the use of music in combat for use against other Zentradi factions they may encounter. As it turned out, Sound Energy was the only weakness of the Protodeviln. Max approved expansion of the pilot program. In addition to Basara Nekki, the remaining members of Fire Bomber joined to create Sound Force—including Mylene. Though initially opposed to Mylene's participation, Max eventually allowed it.
Late in the conflict, Max would personally lead a daring raid against the Protodeviln's home base. Though the team would take heavy casualties, Max made it back. Around this time, the meddling of Mylene and the tense events of the Protodeviln conflict began to draw Max and Milia together again. They would once again fight side by side in the final battle against the Protodeviln.