Described as one of the world’s largest intranets, Army Knowledge Online (AKO) is a closed-to-the-public online resource available to authorized personnel including new soldiers, those getting ready to retire or separate from the military, and a host of others.
AKO is essentially what some describe as an enterprise-level web portal that crosses both classified and unclassified networks. Those with access can share emails, store and swap files, participate in discussion groups, etc. It’s estimated that most soldiers (at least half) deployed use AKO on and off duty. Army Knowledge Online accounts are mandatory for all incoming troops and as such the portal is used for certain training at a variety of stages in an Army career.
AKO Authorized Users
The following Soldiers are authorized to create accounts and use Army Knowledge Online:
- Active Army
- Army Reserve
- Army Retired
- Contracted ROTC Cadets
- DA Civilian
- Future Soldiers
- Medical Retired
- NAF Civilian
- National Guard
- US Military Academy Cadets
…as well as the following:
- Army Cadets
- Army Volunteers
- Federal Civilian Agencies
- Non-Federal Civilian Agencies
- Foreign Officers
- Homeland Security
- Incoming DA Civilians
- Incoming Future Soldiers
- Local National Employees
- Those retiring or separating
How AKO Got Started
Army Knowledge Online began in the 90s as an experiment. A project initiated by the General Officer Management Office created an early version of AKO known as A2OL or America’s Army Online. The earliest ambitions for this project were to create something quite similar to what AKO is today — a worldwide system for all soldiers and Army-affiliated contractors, civilian hires, foreign nationals working on Army installations, etc. Information on AKO is unclassified/For Official Use Only.
That project included some of the features current AKO users are quite familiar with but were not necessarily mainstream online at the time–features like standardized e-mail addresses, centralized authentication procedures, white pages, and the ability to remotely access content stored on the portal.
Army Training Online
The portal is used to deliver “all hands” type training options in a variety of areas. The Army relies heavily on certain kinds of online training offered through Army Knowledge Online, Joint Knowledge Online, the Army Training Network, and the Army Learning Management System; these platforms all have different names but require the same kind of login. AKO learning and the kinds of Army training found via the other platforms mentioned above can include:
- Suicide Awareness and Prevention
- Army Concussion Course (mTBI)
- Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness Training
- Threat Awareness and Reporting Program
- Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP)
- Personnel Recovery
- Operational Security (OPSEC)
How To Register With AKO
You must be an authorized user (see above). New recruits are required to sign up for AKO and these troops will work with their recruiter to set up the accounts. Those who are already serving may require sponsorship and the credential information of their sponsor to create a new account. “Full” accounts require no sponsor, but Guest accounts do. What follows assumes you have a sponsor or are otherwise authorized to set your account up.
Apply For AKO Access
Access the application forms via us.army.mil. Once you click “I Accept” your browser will be directed to the Army’s Enterprise Access Management page where you will create a new account using your Social Security Number.
You will be asked to select an account type appropriate to your standing with the Army as an Active Duty, Guard/Reserve member, contractor, new recruit, transitioning military member, etc. From there:
- Enter your date of birth
- Provide your sponsor’s AKO username
- Enter your contact information
- Provide a secondary email address from any Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or other account
- Create a password that meets DoD Strong Password guidelines
- Select security questions and enter your answers
- Click the “Complete Registration” button
Once registration is finished your sponsor must approve the account and you will need to coordinate with the sponsor if you need further assistance on the new account.
Some users may have created an AKO account that has since gone inactive–if you suspect you have an old account, call the Army Knowledge Online Helpdesk at 1-866-335-ARMY (2769). You can check to see if you have an active or inactive account.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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