@ 2ID - I know this was posted a couple years ago but who are you to judge who a person considers a hero? Lots of people have heros who are celebrities and sports figures but do they really do anything that "extraordinary?" Not really but people aspire to be at that level of success. So for this person, that NCO was a hero probably because he/she hasn't seen a NCO worth modeling after.
Do you know how much "basic soldiering" isn't done anymore? I know plenty of soldiers who don't know cadence, can't march troops but because of constantly having to train for deployments every other year and then being deployed, that stuff gets thrown aside. Is it right? No it is not. But saying a soldier who "can not pass a PT test with 10 minutes notice" is "sub-standard" is not an accurate portrayal. I recently failed a PT test an ran 22 minutes. Am I proud of it? No but I've had back and shoulder issues which have plagued me for well over 3 years and attempted to get them fixed but was not helped by the medical staff in my old unit. The PA didn't really do much and we had to go through our medics before we could even go to sick call. Plus you have the mindset in the Army that soldiers who go to sick call are "shamming" basically due to the fact that there are people who aren't hurt who have abused the medical system. So I just "sucked it up" and drove on and it's gotten worse to the point I'm having troubles with my run when I never have. I just get tired of people basing PT on how "great" a soldier is. My old soldier was a PT stud but that kid did not know his job to save his life and refused to listen to me as the only other MI NCO in our BN and had been doing the job as a 35F for 3 years before he got there and had deployed. Being great at PT doesn't mean you're an awesome soldier.
And I guarantee you ask anyone who got a Purple Heart and they won't think they are a hero. Most other soldiers I've talked to don't want a Purple Heart. I've been told by civilians they think I'm a "hero" just for being in and of course I am embarassed to hear it and don't think I am. How many firefighters, policemen get thanked or called heros? Hell I think even teachers should be considered heroes for taking on that job especially in our school systems today.
The point is - hero is defined by the person. You might not see who he/she was talking about as a hero but they do and to try and take that from the person is shameful to me. I don't call too many people heroes that I know. I think a hero is someone who does something extraordinary given the circumstances and goes above and beyond.