Hello all! My name's Jay. I'm from the Springfield area of Illinois. I've been interested in getting into airsoft for some time. I've played a lot of paintball in the past; I liked that well enough, but the guns and gear always bugged me. Mostly I hated running around with a ton of paintballs rattling around, making a lot of noise; and I've never really been a fan of speed ball. Anyway, a little about me. I'm former Navy; spent 6 years in, 4 1/2 of which were on a destroyer, as an electronics technician. After that, I went to school for architecture. Now, I'm working on becoming a licensed architect. So, that means that I spend most of my day sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer, getting more and more out of shape. I already play hockey, but I think that airsoft would also be great excercise, a chance to get outdoors and have some fun (I hate gyms). I'm a little older than most airsofters at 33 years old, but it's never too late to start, right? Like I said, I've been looking to get into this sport for a while. As such, my load-out is pretty limited at the moment. After shopping around online, looking for ideal guns and gear and creating extensive wishlists on multiple websites, I've made my first purchase. For starters, I bought a Lancer Tactical M4A1 Carbine AEG. Admittedly not the top of the line gun (I'm actually expecting a lot of flak for that), but from what I've seen, it performs well enough to compete, and, at less than $100, it's right in my budget, which varies from month to month. I also picked up a smart charger and a full face mask along with a few patches. I've already got black BDUs to start with that I originally used for a Halo armor costume I built this year, but replaced with something else. So, the combat shirt and pants were not being used otherwise, and I figured they were perfect for airsoft. Boots are already taken care of as well as I'll be using a pair that I used while I was surveying; they're waterproof, durable and very comfortable. I've also got a pair of cheap paintball gloves that I can use until I decide to replace them (also used for my Halo costume). Later, I plan on picking up a single point sling, a set of mid-caps, an inexpensive molle chest rig (which includes a variety of pouches), a dump pouch, a hydration pack, a shemagh and heavier BBs than the ones that come with the gun, even though I got an extra 1000 .2's as a promotion with my order; I'm thinking that .25's would work best for me. The nearest field to me does not open until March or April, so I've got some time to put together a decent load-out. Anyway, that's all I can think of for the moment. I've been lurking around here for a few days and can tell that there's a lot of places I can look/people I can ask if I need any help. I'm happy to be a part of all of this now. Thanks for reading.