Born and raised in Northern Minnesota, Erik Dahlgren attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he received a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance in 2001.
Shortly after, he auditioned for the United States Air Force Band program and was assigned to the Band of Mid-America at Scott AFB, IL. While there, he performed as a featured instrumental soloist in the Concert Band and Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble. In 2004 he was deployed to Southwest Asia with the rock band Starlifter in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Musical highlights include performing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium on July 4th, 2002, bringing music and gifts to an Alaskan Native village north of the Arctic Circle with Operation Santa Claus, and providing musical comfort to the residents of Sendai, Japan after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Sergeant Dahlgren transferred to the Texas Air National Guard in 2015, received a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Webster University, and embarked on a civilian career with the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, providing administrative and project management for the research of Combat Casualty Care.