Austin W. Merz has graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. The graduate received a bachelor of science degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

Austin W. Merz has graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. The graduate received a bachelor of science degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

The academy is a four-year military institution of higher learning that develops and inspires new air and space leaders with a vision for the future. Its curriculum provides instruction, education, training and experience in academics, military training, physical and athletic conditioning, and spiritual and ethical development to all cadets.

Cadets graduate with the knowledge, character and skills essential for future career officers in the U.S. Air Force. As new lieutenants, they will go on to serve as pilots, navigators, engineers, maintenance officers or professionals in various technical fields, while other cadets may go on to attend medical or graduate school with special scholarships, or directly to non-rated Air Force-wide assignments.

Merz is the son of Kelly Niemeyer of Wentzville, Mo., Rose Ann Niemeyer of Bowling Green, Mo., and Chris Merz of Wentzville, Mo., step-son of Jill Merz of Wentzville, Mo., and grandson of Victor Niemeyer and Sandra and Gerald Merz of Bowling Green, Mo.