Army Knowledge Online (AKO) changes affect retirees, families

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Army has published its plan to modernize Army Knowledge Online (AKO).

The plan, published Sept. 20, transitions business users to a suite of more secure, interoperable Department of Defense (DoD) services.

The improved security requires users to have Common Access Cards (CAC) embedded with users’ personal digital certificates.

The Army will close all accounts for military and civilian retirees and family members who do not have CACs.

The Army plans to close inactive retiree and family member AKO accounts on Dec. 31, 2013. These are 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 this date.

On Mar. 31, 2014, the Army will close all remaining retiree and family member AKO accounts.

To ease the transition, the Army deputy chief of staff, 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. (https://www.mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx.)

Obtain a premium DS Logon account. This account allows access to personal benefits records and claims on DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs websites.

Download important emails and files to a personal computer.

The Army has many sources of information that retirees may access in place of AKO. The Army home page (www.army.mil) provides official Army news and information and links to Army social media sites (Army Facebook, Army Twitter, Army YouTube and Army Flickr.)

It also includes links to Army images, audio, video, presentations, and Army Live, the official Army blog.

The U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s home page (www.imcom.army.mil) includes links to individual installations and garrisons that provide local information and services to retirees. The Army’s official benefits website is MyArmyBenefits (https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil).

The Army plan indicated that retirees may share files using free and paid commercial services. The plan also noted retirees may join comment forums at military service organization and commercial websites.

For updated information on the AKO Transition, visit http://www.eis.army.mil/ako.