After participating in the rescue of John "Soap" Mactavish, John Price and Gaz, Paulsen was thrown out of the helicopter and killed with the two pilots during the beginning of "Hunted", as the helicopter carrying Soap and the other members of S.A.S. was hit by a missile and crashed on a field. The player only sees Paulsen lying dead on the ground after the crash; he is never seen alive. He is only mentioned as Gaz is ordered to do a casualty report. It is possible to pick up his G36C on the ground. His dog tags were retrieved by Nikolai.
He is not seen in "Blackout", which occurs just before "Hunted". It is unknown how he could have been with Soap, Gaz, and Captain Price if he was not present before when the helicopter picked them up at the end of "Blackout".
In several single player missions, the player will see friendly SAS soldiers that look exactly like Paulsen. This is because they are generic SAS character skins, and in any other mission, the skins are randomly loaded.
Paulsen is a red-shirt character, as he dies even before fighting or saying a line.