Jeff Feinstein was born on January 29, 1945, in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 7, 1963, and attended the Air Force Academy Prep School until entering the Air Force Academy on June 29, 1964. He graduated from the Academy with a commission as a 2d Lt on June 5, 1968, and then completed Undergraduate Navigator Training and was awarded his Navigator Wings in May 1969. Lt Feinstein next completed Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) training and F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training before serving as an F-4 WSO with the 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron at Misawa AB, Japan, from February 1970 to March 1971, followed by service with the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kunsan AB, South Korea, from March 1971 to January 1972. He then served as an F-4 WSO with the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from February 1972 to March 1973, where he was credited with the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat. After serving as a Fighter Weapons Instructor with the 414th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, Capt Feinstein attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas, and was awarded his pilot wings in May 1974. He then completed F-4 Combat Crew Training in December 1974, followed by service as an F-4 pilot with the 526th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ramstein AB, West Germany, from December 1974 to July 1977. Maj Feinstein next attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from July 1977 to June 1978, and then served as an F-4 pilot and Chief of Academics with the 307th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Homestead AFB, Florida, from June 1978 to January 1980. LtCol Feinstein served as Chief of Wing Life Support for the 31st Tactical Training Wing at Homestead from January 1980 to November 1981, and then served on the staff of 9th Air Force at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, from July 1982 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 1, 1996, during which time he participated in combat as an Airborne Command Element Director aboard E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 to February 1991.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Section 8742, Title 10, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Captain Jeffrey S. Feinstein for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-4D Weapon Systems Officer on 13 October 1972. On that date, while protecting a large strike force attacking a high priority target deep in hostile territory, Captain Feinstein engaged two enemy aircraft and destroyed one as they attacked the vulnerable chaff-dispensing flight. Having destroyed one of the aircraft and realizing that his wingman was coming under fire, Captain Feinstein continued his attack on the second enemy aircraft. This courageous and aggressive maneuver negated the immediate threat to his wingman and caused the second MIG-21 to flee the area in which he would constitute a threat to the strike force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Feinstein reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.