Captain Fincke graduated from MIT in 1989, and immediately attended a Summer exchange program with the Moscow Aviation Institute in the former Soviet Union, where he studied Cosmonautics. After graduation from Stanford University in 1990, Captain Fincke entered the United States Air Force where he was assigned to the Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. There he served as a Space Systems Engineer and a Space Test Engineer. In 1994, upon completion of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California, Captain Fincke joined the 39th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he served as a Flight Test Engineer working on a variety of flight test programs, flying the F-16 and F-15 aircraft. In January of 1996, he reported to the Gifu Test Center, Gifu Air Base, Japan where he was the United States Flight Test Liaison to the Japanese/United States XF-2 fighter program.
Captain Fincke has over 500 flight hours in over 30 different aircraft types.