Colonel (Ret.) Felicia French
is a 32-year Army and
Arizona National Guard veteran, nurse, educator,
MedEvac helicopter pilot, entrepreneur, and proud mom,
running for state Senate
to deliver real solutions
for ALL Arizonans.
Felicia is a third-generation Arizonan, currently living in Pine, Arizona.
Her roles as an Afghan War veteran, pediatric and hospice nurse, community college educator, and as a single-mom, exemplify her lifelong commitment to public service and family well being.
Felicia earned her B.S. in Nursing, an M.S. in Sustainable Solutions from Arizona State University, an M.S. in Management from the University of Southern California, as well as military degrees from the Air Senior Service College, the Army Environmental Policy Institute, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
Her leadership skills were formed as she worked her way up the ranks from Private to Colonel, during her 32 years of service in the United States Army and Arizona National Guard.
At 17-years old, Felicia joined the AZ National Guard as a medic. She then completed ROTC at Arizona State University, while working three part-time jobs to pay for her schooling. In 1983, she graduated as an Army Officer with a B.S. in Nursing and then completed humanitarian deployments in Honduras and the Dominican Republic as an Army nurse.
After completing her Army nursing assignment, Felicia began pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a pilot.
For two long years though, flight school admission officers denied her the same access as her male counterparts. They claimed she wasn't fit enough—even though she was a marathoner and triathlete, who maxed every physical fitness test she took in the military.
It was only through her unwavering persistence that she was finally admitted and given equal opportunity to realize her childhood dream. In 1988, she earned her aviator wings and graduated from flight school as the class leader.
Felicia went on to pilot Huey and Blackhawk helicopters, completing a deployment in Germany during the Cold War and flying MedEvac missions in New York.
Felicia returned home to serve the next 15 years in the Arizona Army National Guard as the State Equal Employment Manager, the State Medical Commander, and as the Program Director for Project Challenge (an initiative to help high school dropouts earn their GEDs).
She completed her final
military mission as a
Senior Medical Advisor
During her 32-year career, Felicia served as a
commander for seven years and earned the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star, two Humanitarian Service Medals, and the
Expert Field Medical Badge.
In 2010, she retired from the U.S. Army as a full Colonel.
That same year, she earned an ASU fellowship for her second Master's degree in Sustainable Solutions, studying clean energy and eco-tourism opportunities in the Navajo Nation, and then began teaching sustainability courses at ASU and MCC.
In 2015, she co-founded a small business offering sustainability consulting services to non-profits.
Her continued dedication to public service is also reflected in her volunteer work as a veterans' hospice nurse in Rim Country, as a nurse with AmeriCares disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, and with her roles in the local Civil Air Patrol, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Community Emergency Response Team, and Sierra Club.
Last year, Felicia met a personal challenge and spent 60 days thru-hiking the 800-mile Arizona Trail, walking across the state from the Mexico to Utah borders, to bring awareness to local water and environmental issues.
Now, she’s running for the Arizona state Senate LD6 to fight for better public education, expanded access to affordable and quality healthcare, and to make our state government more accountable to rural communities, so we can create more job opportunities while protecting northern Arizona for our families and future generations.
She also renewed her nursing license to serve locally as a home health and hospice nurse in Payson, Pine and Strawberry.