Created by Terminator writer and director James Cameron, Cpl. Dwayne Hicks was a member of the Colonial Marines, the elite space marine corps employed to answer the call when survivor Ellen Ripley warned the Weyland-Yutani Corporation that the silence on mining colony LV 426 was the result of an alien threat.
Being one of the few to take her seriously, Hicks remained respectful and was then unsurprisingly the most competent soldier to stand up and side with Ripley when most of his team was wiped out by the Xenomorphs. Left for dead by the corporation's representative, only Hicks, Ripley, child survivor Newt and the android Bishop escaped the planet before an atomic explosion cleansed the alien infestation but not before sacrificing himself to protect Ripley and thus being left gravely injured by an explosion of alien acid blood.
Major Original Story Arc
In the 1988 Dark Horse Comics continuation of the Alien franchise, ten years have gone by when a now heavily scarred Hicks is on LV 426 in an operation to destroy all remaining Xenomorph eggs. He is depressed and angry at the death/expenditure of his team and friends at the whim of the Corporation and the fact that he can't do anything about it.
Returning home after one such operation, he discovers that the now barely adult Newt is locked away in an asylum. Breaking her out, they return to LV 426 to discover that Colonial Marine General Spears is weaponising the xenomorph in an insane plan to attack Earth. They fail to stop him and the nighmare he unleashes on his own men. The aliens are shipped to Earth but survivors Hicks and Newt stow away and upon reaching Earth Gateway, they are reunited with Ripley and join forces to rescue Earth.
No way to do business...
Upon the release of Alien 3 in the early 90's, it was portrayed in the film that Hicks, Newt and eventually Ripley do not survive. After years of success with the characters, the Dark Horse comic refused to kill off the characters, yet they changed the names of these already long established characters as though they had never existed.
Training & Abilities
Hicks has undergone the most rigorous training of any military force and is at the peak of his health. He is a Corporal, putting him third in charge after Sergeant Apone and Lieutenant Gorman, proving that not only is he a competent fighter but also a sound military tactician.
Hicks' primary weapon is the M41A Pulse Rifle, a rapid firing high capacity assault rifle firing mineral-based rounds and sporting a built in grenade launcher. He also likes to keep a compact pump-action shotgun on him "for close encounters"
The Colonial Marines sport bio-sensors/blip trackers in the movie. They also have communication with base through radio and video equipment built into their armour. And the automated motion sensored drone guns also save their skins for a few hours.