What is Army Knowledge Online?
Army Knowledge Online is a portal for all active and retired army personnel. It’s considered to be the largest intranet in the world.
An intranet is a network of interconnected systems that helps a company or a work group improve data sharing and communication networks within the group on a secure platform.
Created in the late 1990s, the Army Knowledge Online started as America’s Army Online. Unfortunately, this name was closely related to another name that was prevalent in the 1990s, so the name was changed to AKO.
It started as a way for centralized email access, provide important information on missions and facilitate interactions between users.
Every single person to enlist in the army is required to have an Army Knowledge Online account and password.
The password provides strict security for the system. It requires lower case, uppercase, two numbers and at least two characters.
This password also changes every five months, so users have to constantly change passwords and can’t use the same password repeatedly. The password that is chosen can’t have been used in the previous 10 password changes.
The tight security is to protect members’ information. Members are able to access their mission reports, finance sections and e-training.
In the finance section, soldiers can see their earning statements, housing allowances, food allowances and leave reports. This can help track household expenses and pay allowance.
The medical section is administered by the Defense Health Information Management System. It has past physical exam reports, medical reports and deployment status based on fitness. Members can access medical records and reports to see their physical fitness requirements.
Along with the medical, legal and travel benefits, there are training functions by the Joint Knowledge Online, which provides training for all branches of the service. There are correspondence courses, business courses and other e-learning programs. Many of these are free of charge and can be transferred to colleges.
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In 2010, it was required that all active duty, national guard and reserves soldiers have an account.
All authorized, full accounts are given to active army, army reserve, retired, future soldiers, medical retired and military academy cadets.
There is a second type of account that requires a sponsorship from someone in the first group. These guest accounts are given to contractors, volunteers and family members.
Each member has access to a chat and messenger system within the intranet system.
Army Knowledge Online provides email, blogs and file storage. Members with access to the system can use the directory services as well. The AKO has over 2 million registered users and one of every two soldiers uses the portal for personal and professional services.
It’s had over one billion log-ins. There are over 300 services and applications within the AKO system that provide benefits to army personnel.
Army Knowledge Online provides a secure setting for soldiers to interact with the army itself through financial departments and medical sections, but it also provides a way to stay connected with other members of the army.
The Wounded Warrior application helps to facilitate the diagnosis and rehabilitation of soldiers.
Soldiers and their families as well as volunteers and contractors can benefit from the information and secure portal provided by Army Knowledge Online.