Although Hiro Ishi was several years younger than Jack Archer, the two were classmates at the Robotech Academy where they became fast friends admiring the skills of the other. After graduation, Hiro was assigned to a Destroid Tomahawk onboard the SDF-1 and was subsequently stranded onboard during the accidental hyperspace fold. While Jack remained on Earth, Hiro was defending the SDF-1 against constant Zentradi attacks. These initial experiences tainted his view of the Zentraedi and viewed them as little more than animals not deserving of any mercy.
After the Zentraedi bombardment of the Earth, Hiro and Jack were reunited at Base-6. At one point, Hiro wanted to kill the cornered Zentraedi Skarrde instead of let him live. Jack stopped him, and earned the trust of the Zentradi, Skarrde, who later became a spy for the RDF. Their friendship was strained at times because of Hiro's attitude towards the Zentraedi and his inferiority complex with his Destroid assignment. Although when Hiro went missing on assignment, Archer and Randal "borrowed" a Catseye Recon to look for him. (Robotech: Battlecry)