In the film he is portrayed as a seemingly trustworthy yet arcane man with an apparent respect for Rambo, but in the novelization he is depicted as an uncaring contract worker.
According to Survival Mode, Ericson was born on April 15, 1956 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from Dade County High School in 1974 and attended Miami City College, though he did not graduate. Ericson then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1976, where he became a technical sergeant and mechanic for various types of aircraft. He was assigned to the Thai military advisory in Bangkok, Thailand in 1978, earned his helicopter pilot rating in 1979 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1980. He was then assigned to the Marine Air Group in Manila, Philippines. Such infractions included being arrested by MPs for suspected armory theft in Manila, although he was not court martialed, suspected for helicopter theft in Osaka, suspected in light weapons theft in Bangkok, suspected in illegal weapons transport, operation shut down by AUS special forces in early 1983 and, finally, arrested for assault on an AUS officer around that time period. In May 1983, Ericson was given a dishonorable discharge for said multiple infractions. Following his discharge, Ericson was an independent contract mercenary and pilot for the Far East through multiple professional combatant services and black market arms dealers. Ericson was a skillful pilot considered highly proficient with multiple aircraft, as he can fly fixed and rotary-winged aircraft equally well.John Rambo when he first arrives at the hangar. He then flies him into Vietnam in an Aero jet and expresses great concern when Rambo gets tangled up on the wing. He calls Murdock and requests assistance, claiming that Rambo will be torn to pieces unless something is done. Rambo cuts away his equipment and parachutes into the jungle, although Ericson expresses doubt that he is still alive. When Rambo's time is up, Ericson leaves with Trautman and Lifer, he remarks that he hopes that for Rambo's sake, they aren't wasting fuel. The helicopter flies by Rambo, who is being shot at by Viet Cong soldiers. Rambo attempts to flag them down and Ericson begins lowering the chopper. When Murdock orders Rambo's betrayal, Ericson informs Trautman, unwilling to leave before checking with the other crew members. Lifer pulls a gun on Trautman and orders Ericson to fly off and leave Rambo. Ericson reluctantly complies, and looks out the window sadly at Rambo, showing regret for what he has done. Back at the hangar, Ericson is passing the time by spinning the rotors on a small model helicopter. When Rambo escapes from Podovsky's camp, he retrieves POWs from a prison camp and flies the POWs back to the base, Ericson congratulates him on his safe return, and Rambo, who earlier mistook his regretful lookback for a smirk, hits Ericson in the stomach and face with his M60E3 machine gun. Unlike the seedy Lifer, Ericson did not want to betray Rambo and it looks like, besides Trautman, Ericson is the only trustworthy associate of Murdock.
Ericson carried an unspecified type of revolver handgun and wore a necklace with a leather bullet holster that contained cartridges from his revolver. The prop is now in the public domain and is for sale on the internet.