Prairie State Gaming is proud to support our veterans. We are a veteran owned company and many of our employees are veterans. We appreciate our veterans’ service and outstanding work ethic. Our Director of Operations, Noel Zarza, is a great example of an outstanding veteran.
Noel is the Director of Operations for Prairie State Gaming. He has extensive operational and logistical experience while serving as an Armor-Cavalry Officer in the US Army. His last three duty assignments included: G3 Chief of Plans at the National Training Center; J3 Future Operations Officer for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan; and Squadron Executive Officer of the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Noel served in multiple overseas deployments including combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq and operational assignments to South Korea and the Republic of Georgia. Mr. Zarza commanded D Co and Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment (OPFOR) in Hohenfels, Germany.
Mr. Zarza received his US Army ROTC commission from New Mexico Military Institute. He is a graduate of California State University at San Marcos and the US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Order of Saint George-Bronze Medallion. After 20 years of US Army service, he retired from the US Army with the rank of Major.
Although Noel has completed his military service, he strives to keep his tactical abilities sharp. Noel competes in local, regional, and national United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) matches. He is one of the founders and club officers for the Bloomington-Normal Tactical Shooters USPSA Club. Mr. Zarza is a State-Certified IL CCW Instructor, NRA Firearms Instructor/Range Safety Officer, and he’s currently a sponsored competitor for GlockStore and Tooth & Nail Armory.
In addition to Noel’s participation in USPSA matches he is a proud representative of Gun-Fit Academy. Gun-Fit Academy transforms the hobby of shooting into a lifestyle for Noel. A long time ago Noel asked himself “How can shooting guns be considered a sport?” He believes if you can get hurt, if you have to plan a strategy, if equipment is required, if scores are kept, and if there’s a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day then it HAS to be a sport.
As a representative of Gun Fit Academy Noel focuses on having fun and advancing the sport. The challenge of controlling accuracy, speed and power is exciting and provides a sense of accomplishment for Noel. He believes “anyone with a trigger finger and okay eyesight can try to meet that goal.” Gun-Fit Academy provides organized shooting competition for Noel to take his hobby to the next level. “I’m in it for the sport and the camaraderie that competition shooting provides”.
Prairie State Gaming thanks Noel and all of our veterans for their service and we are proud to build our team around them.