[HEALTH.MIL] Army Plans to Close Retiree AKO Accounts by Mar. 31, 2014

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <RetVet-Info@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <TFL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 19:55:41 -0500

NOTICE:  If you have an Army AKO E-Mail account that's affected by the below
listed announcement and the E-Mail address is included on the HEALTH.MIL,
RETVET-INFO and\or TFL mailing list, please go to  <http://www.hostmtb.org/>
http://www.hostmtb.org/ to enter your new address and remove your AKO address.
Or, you may send me your new\old E-Mail address and I'll make the change for
you. - Thank you, Milton Bell, Mailing List Mgr


Army Plans to Close Retiree AKO Accounts by Mar. 31, 2014

By Mark Overberg, Deputy Chief, Army Retirement Services

On Sept. 20, the Army published its plan to modernize Army Knowledge Online
(AKO). The plan 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 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. See the DS Logon article on
the next page for more information.
*       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

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

Official U.S. Army Internet Sources

1.      Army Home page: www. army.mil <http://www.army.mil> 
2.      News: http://www.army.mil/news/
3.      Early Bird: http://ebird.osd.mil/ebird2/index.html
4.      Information: http://www.army.mil/info/
5.      Benefits: https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil
6.      Audio/video: http://www.army.mil/media/amp/
7.      Mobile phone apps: http://www.army.mil/mobile/
8.      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/US army
9.      Twitter: https://twitter.com/USArmy/
10.     YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/usarmy
11.     Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/
12.     Soldiers Magazine: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/
13.     Army Live Blog: http://armylive.dodlive.mil/
14.     Stand To!: http://www.army.mil/standto/

DS Logon now a must for most retirees

WASHINGTON - The Department of Defense Self-Service Logon (DS Logon) is a
relatively new, secure, self-service logon ID that allows Department of Defense
(DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (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 Army Knowledge Online
(AKO) accounts on Mar. 31, 2014, DS Logon will be the only method for these
users t o access their personal information on secure DOD and VA websites. Users
must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
to obtain a DS Logon username and password. Currently, the following groups of
people can obtain a DS Logon account:

*       .Service members (active duty, Guard/Reservists, retirees) . Spouses
(including surviving spouses)
*       Veterans . Eligible family members (18 and over)

There are two types of DS Logon accounts: a Basic Account and a Premium Account.

*       A Basic Account can be obtained online without verification of your
identity, but it provides only limited access to website features. Personal
information in VA or DOD systems cannot be accessed. The main advantage of a
basic account is that it enables you to upgrade more quickly to a premium
account when you go in person to a VA Regional Office or a TRICARE Service

*       A Premium Account allows users to access websites that contain their
personal information.

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 to name a few. DS Logon
will be the primary method of authentication for all DOD and VA websites in the
not-too 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.

Common Access Card (CAC) holders may upgrade their accounts immediately using
their CAC.

Individuals who do not have a CAC and who cannot complete the remote proofing
process may request an activation code from the Defense Manpower Data Center if
they have a myPay account established at DFAS.

Users who cannot complete any of these preferred processes may obtain a DS Logon
premium account by visiting a VA Regional

Office or a TRICARE Service Center, locations of which can be found on the "DS
Logon - My Access Center" at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dsaccess/. Many
RAPIDS offices (military ID card offices) can also provide DS Logon accounts.
Check in advance to ensure they have the capability.

AKO transition affects retirees and annuitants' myPay accounts

By Mark Overberg, Deputy Chief, Army Retirement Services

The pending Army Knowledge Online (AKO) transition will affect over 350,000
retirees and annuitants' myPay accounts. These Defense Finance and Accounting
Service (DFAS) accounts include AKO email addresses that will not function when
the Army closes the last retiree and family member AKO accounts on Mar. 31,

Unless they update their myPay accounts, these retirees and annuitants will no
longer receive email communications from DFAS. These communications include
notices about monthly retiree account statements, annual income tax forms, and
other important information.

To update your email address, log in to myPay at
https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx. Then click on "Email Address" and look at
"personal email address." AKO email addresses end in "@us.army.mil." Change the
email address if necessary, and click on "Primary."

Finally, click "Accept/Submit."

If you do not have a myPay account, you can register for one at
https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx. If you need assistance registering or have
questions, call myPay at (888) 332-7411.



SOURCE:  Veterans Today Website at




NOTICE:  Archived copies of this and other mailing list messages,

instructions and other useful information for active duty, retirees and
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their families, are available on the LINKS FOR MIL\RET\VETS website at




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