Veterans

October 25, 2013

AKO changes coming soon — prepare now

Army plans to close retiree AKO accounts by March 31, 2014

On Sept. 20, the Army published its plan to modernize Army Knowledge Online, or AKO. The plan transitions business users to a suite of more secure, interoperable Department of Defense, or DoD, services. The improved security requires users to have Common Access Cards, or CACs, 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. 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 March 31, 2014, the Army will close all remaining retiree and family member AKO accounts. To ease the transition, the Army 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:

For updated information on the AKO transition, visit http://www.eis.army.mil/ako.
DS Logon now a must for most retirees

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense Self-Service Logon, or DS Logon, is a relatively new, secure, self-service logon ID that allows DoD and VA members and affiliates access to real-time, personalized information on government websites using a single username and password.

When the Army closes the last retiree and Family member AKO accounts on March 31, 2014, DS Logon will be the only method for these users to access their personal information on secure DOD and VA websites.

Users must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, to obtain a DS Logon username and password. Currently, active duty, Guard/Reservist, retiree service members, spouses and surviving spouses, veterans and eligible Family members 18 and over can obtain a DS Logon account:
There are two types of DS Logon accounts — a Basic Account and a Premium Account.

Applications currently using DS Logon include the VA’s eBenefits portal; TRICARE Online portals; Beneficiary Web Enrollment; MilConnect: Transferability of Education Benefits; Health Net Federal Services; Humana Military; MyTricare.com; and TRICAREoverseas.com among others. DS Logon will be the primary method of authentication for all DoD and VA websites in the not-to-distant future.

There are several ways to obtain a DS Logon account. The quickest and most convenient method of obtaining a premium account is to complete the “remote proofing process” at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dsaccess/. This involves using a secure ID that users may already have, such as a Social Security number, and answering three basic, personal questions.

FH Retiree Council meets quarterly

The Fort Huachuca Retiree Council meets quarterly in January, April, July and October. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 10, 10 a.m., in the SFAC Conference Room, Murr Community Center. For more information, contact retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Roberts via email at mi33csm@icloud.com.

(The information for this month’s piece was derived from the quarterly “Army Echoes” newsletter.)




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