- DOD Self-Service (DS) Logon - Army Implementation Guidance (PDF)
- SecArmy memo: Army Knowledge Online Transition (PDF)
- Download a file onto your computer (PDF)
- Army.mil story: Retirees, family members must enable AKO email auto-forwarding by Dec. 31
- Army ECHOES Newsletter: Army plans to close retiree AKO accounts by Mar. 31, 2014
- Army CIO/G-6 Has Approved Automatic Forwarding of AKO Email to Commercial Email
- Army.mil story: Department of Defense Self-Service Logon to enable access to online DOD self-service sites
- Army.mil story: Army Knowledge Online transitions to next-generation enterprise services
As part of IT management reform, Secretary of the Army John McHugh signed a memo in April 2013 to begin transitioning Army Knowledge Online to next-generation enterprise services. The changes will occur over several years.
“To achieve the anticipated financial economies, efficiencies, and security improvements, the Army must modernize current Army Knowledge Online infrastructure and services to become more interoperable across DOD and compliant with emerging joint information environment architectures; and implement current best practices for cloud-based managed services,” McHugh wrote in the memo.
The Army established Army Knowledge Online (AKO) in the late 1990s to provide online information services for U.S. Army personnel, later extending some AKO services to retirees and family members. Services have included email, collaboration, discussion forums, a directory, and direct access to many DOD and Veterans Affairs (VA) websites.
The Army is now modernizing the AKO infrastructure and services to become more interoperable across DOD and to the goals that Secretary McHugh detailed in his memo.
The transition follows the Army’s successful migration of 1.4 million email accounts to DOD Enterprise Email in July 2013. The next phase includes enterprise services for collaboration, content management, and unified capabilities (including chat, presence, voice and video over IP) - all of which draw upon the authoritative identity service that underpins Enterprise Email.
All Army business processes will move off the current AKO platform onto next-generation enterprise services over the course of several years. Only business users will have access to enterprise services. Army military retirees and family members will continue to have access to DOD online self-service sites like Tricare and MyPay through DOD Self-Service Logon (DS Logon).
The Army is developing a transition timeline for AKO services and accounts - to include military and civilian retirees and Army family members. Details will be published in an upcoming Army execution order.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR RETIREES AND FAMILY MEMBERS
In the meantime, it is important to note that Army inactive retiree and family AKO email accounts will become inactive Dec. 31, 2013. Affected are those accounts that have not had a password change in over 90 days and are not set to automatically forward email to another government account. The Army will also remove email storage for active retiree and family member accounts on Dec. 31.
On Dec. 31, 2014, the Army will close all remaining retiree and family member AKO accounts. To ease the transition, the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6 (CIO/G-6) recently approved an exception to policy that allows retirees and family members to automatically forward their AKO email to a civilian email address until Dec. 31, 2014. However, retirees must set this up in their AKO account profiles before Dec. 31, 2013. To avoid disruptions to communications and personal accounts, retirees should take the following steps as soon as possible:
- Obtain a personal email address from a civilian provider.
- Replace AKO email addresses in all personal accounts – especially myPay accounts at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
- Obtain a premium DS Logon account. This account allows access to personal benefits records and claims on DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs websites. See the DS Logon article on the next page for more information.
- Download important emails and files to a personal computer.
Additionally, family members will have several options: (1) Your military sponsor can request an account for you; (2) when getting a military ID card, ask for a DS Logon account; or (3) request an account at a TRICARE Service Center.