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US Army AKO or Army Knowledge Online is one of the web-based enterprise information service providers to Army customers in the United States, combined, and Department of Defense. This company’s services are provided to customers on a classified and unclassified network, and include portals, e-mail, directories, discovery, and single sign-on functions. All Active Duty, National Guard, Reserves, Army, and contractor employee members have accounts that provide access to army assets, tools and web services worldwide.

All users can build pages, create file storage areas, and create and participate in discussions on the portal. US Army AKO provides the Army with single access to the Internet and share knowledge and information, making Army Knowledge Online (AKO) the only collaboration tool that operates throughout the Department of the Army (DA) worldwide. Army Knowledge Online (AKO) has been considered “the largest intranet in the world.” One of every two Soldiers deployed accessed the daily portal for personal missions and purposes, and in 2008 the AKO recorded one billion logins. Army Knowledge Online (AKO) has also been extended to the wider DoD community through Online Defense Knowledge, which is basically just a rebranding.

Army Knowledge Online (AKO) is an integrated suite of commercial-off-the-shelf products including Appian Business Process Management (BPM) Suite technology. Appian provides the basis for all information dissemination, knowledge sharing, process management and collaboration across the AKO. Users can create custom access control lists for each content they own to determine which viewers are allowed to view or use their content. AKO currently has 2.3 million registered users, and supports more than 350 thousand users who enter up to one million times a day and receive and send an average of 12 million emails daily.

As of October 2010, all active, reserve, and national guard duty officers are required to register an account at Army Knowledge Online (AKO). There are two different types of accounts in the Army Knowledge Online (AKO), full account and guest account. The full official account does not require a sponsor to register, and includes from the Active Army, Army Reserve, Army Retired, contracted ROTC Cadet, civil DA, Army of the future, Medical retirement, Civil NAF, National Guard, Cadet of US Military Academy.

Unlike a full account, a guest account requires an Army sponsor with a legitimate full account. Guest accounts include Army Volunteers, Contractors, Federal Civilian Agencies, Foreign Officers (attached to the US Army), Homeland Security, Civil DA Entry, Incoming Future Soldier, Local National Employees, Medical Discharge, Military Transition, Cadet ROTC (MS I And II).

Signing up for an AKO account is required at enrollment in the Army. AKO access follows the DoD security policy, and is done with a password or combination of Common Access Card (CAC) and PIN. The requirements for AKO passwords are very strict; Passwords must contain at least two uppercase letters, two lowercase letters, two numbers, and two special characters. Passwords expire every 150 days, and may not be replaced by the keywords used ten times before. To date, April 8, 2015, AKO is no longer accessible without the use of government-approved military or PIV CAC cards.

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