ARMY / DEFENSE KNOWLEDGE ONLINE (AKO) SPECIFICS
All Army AKO users who have a CAC should now be migrated to DISA's Enterprise Email this means you will no longer be able to access your AKO webmail. EEmail requires 100% CAC use from https://web.mail.mil. Please look at this page for EEmail support.
If you are getting ready to retire please check out the 'retiring' page. I want to make sure you understand you will no longer have access to your Enterprise Email and AKO.
The requirement for AKO to go 100% CAC is NOT their choice. They are being mandated by the CIO-G6 (Chief Information Officer - G6) office which is based off of JTF-CNO CTO 07-015 (CAC required), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Implementation (specifically Task 10).
If you are receiving a message that AKO is not trusted, you need to update your DoD Certificates
Watch a video of these steps
Are you having problems accessing AKO now that Microsoft has pushed out Internet Explorer 11 as a critical update? Please go through this guide again.
The process of registering your CAC with AKO was removed on 1 May 2011. This also means dual CAC holders can use either issued CAC. Read more about it here.
Question 1: Why can't I log into AKO with my CAC?
Answer 1: Follow the guidance in this PDF.
Question 2: When I logon to AKO with my CAC, I see my old CAC certificates (or more certificates than just my own) to choose from. How do I clear the old Certificates?
Answer 2: Open Internet Explorer, Select Tools, Internet Options, Content (tab), Certificates (button). Select all of the Certificates you don't want, then select the Remove (button). You may have to remove them individually.
Question 3: When attempting to login to AKO; the browser closes (crashes); receive "500 - Internal Server Error" message; returns you to the home screen; or just doesn't seem to work.
Answer 3: Follow the guidance in this PDF
Question 4: How do I change my AKO password?
Here's How: Logon to AKO with your CAC (or without CAC for non CAC-Holders). Click on: My Account, Account Settings, Change Password. The rest should be self-explanatory. AKO does have a self help video located here. You will need to have Adobe Flash player installed, and be using Internet Explorer to view. NOTE I had to download them, open up IE, go to File, open, navigate to my download location and select the .swf file. It then started to play in my web browser.
NOTE: Please be aware... Sometimes when you type in your new password, it will 'look' like you didn't do it right, because it will come back to the same page. Please scroll to the top of the page where you will see one line of text that will be green for a successful change or red telling you a reason why it did not change.
Question 5: Can I use Outlook to check my AKO email?
The ability to check AKO via IMAP will no longer be possible once your AKO emails migrated to DoD Enterprise Email aka @Mail.mil email.
AKO had their Outlook Connector working with CAC and only worked with Outlook 2003 & 2007, (not 2010 or 2013).
Answer 5: Yes you can. Here is how to set up AKO in Outlook 2007 (with pictures), or Outlook 2010, or any other POP / IMAP email client. (You can also check your email on your Mobile Phone). The instructions here are for Outlook 2007 or 2010, but are virtually the same setting for Outlook 2003. THIS WILL NOT work for Enterprise Email
Question 6: Can I use Thunderbird to check my AKO email?
Answer 6: Yes you can. Here is how to set up AKO in Thunderbird
Question 7: Can I decide how my "Friendly name" shows up on AKO? A friendly name example is: Danberry, Michael J CW3 MIL USA USARC.
Answer 7: If you are dual account holder (i.e. you are a civilian and a Reservist) you can select which friendly name is displayed within your AKO webmail.
Question 8: "There is a problem with this website security certificate" error. Your options are listed as "Click here to close this webpage" or "Continue to this website" where it states it is not recommended.
Answer 8: Latest DoD Certificates are needed, download and install them here
Question 9: I am receiving the message: "403 Access Forbidden - You do not have Permission to Access this resource."
Answer 9.1: Go to: https://www.us.army.mil from this link. There could be a problem with the shortcut in your favorites. Simply re add AKO to your favorites replacing your existing one. I also right click and select properties to remove all of the extraneous stuff after us.army.mil then save. This helps speed up the load from your favorites.
Answer 9.2: Follow this PDF for correcting the settings in your Internet Explorer
Answer 9.2: This could also be caused by your Antivirus / Security Software. First try disabling it before going to AKO. You can also uninstall it then restart your computer and see if it works afterwards. This has been the cure for a few McAfee and Kaspersky users.
Answer 9.2: ActivClient does not always recognize a CAC if you insert it after you have opened Internet Explorer. Solution: Close all Internet Explorer windows, remove your CAC from the reader, re-insert it into the reader, now open Internet Explorer.
Question 10: Receiving the message: "You are not logged in with your CAC" when you are actually logged on with your CAC when using Firefox.
Answer 10: Use Internet Explorer when using your CAC with anything related to AKO (and most DoD sites).
Answer 10.1: Look at #16 below
Answer 10.2: Follow this PDF for correcting the settings in your Internet Explorer
Answer 10.3: If you insist on using Firefox, look at the Firefox page for the required configuration.
Question 11: When attempting to extract ActivClient 6.1, the icon
is not a folder with a zipper on it, or a different program opens up.
Answer 11: Somehow your file association was
changed on your computer. Look here
for the answer
Question 12: I have 2 CACs (1 military & 1 civilian or
contractor), Am I only
able to use one on AKO?
Answer 12: No,
not as of: 1 May 2011 you do not have to manually register your CAC
anymore, so, both off them will work on AKO.
Question 13: I set up my AKO logon for CAC only. I don't
want it this way anymore, how can I change it back?
Answer 13: To remove the CAC-Only logon, you must
be able to access your account with your CAC. Follow these
Question 11: When attempting to extract ActivClient 6.1, the icon is not a folder with a zipper on it, or a different program opens up.
Answer 11: Somehow your file association was changed on your computer. Look here for the answer
Question 12: I have 2 CACs (1 military & 1 civilian or contractor), Am I only able to use one on AKO?
Answer 12: No, not as of: 1 May 2011 you do not have to manually register your CAC anymore, so, both off them will work on AKO. Read more
Question 13: I set up my AKO logon for CAC only. I don't want it this way anymore, how can I change it back?
Answer 13: To remove the CAC-Only logon, you must be able to access your account with your CAC. Follow these instructions:
Question 14: How do I contact the AKO Help Desk? (Now renamed to AESD (Army Enterprise Service Desk))
Answer 14: All contact information is located here:
a. Commercial: 866-335-ARMY(2769), Select Option 3 for Unclassified (Changed on 30 April 2013)
b. DSN: 312-560-1110 ask the operator to dial 866-335-2769, then Select Option 3 (Changed on 30 April 2013)
c. Webform: https://esd-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/ask
Question 15: While logging into AKO with your CAC, selecting your certificate and typing in your PIN the page stalls at "You will be logged into AKO shortly."
Answer 15: When the new window pops up showing you are being logged into AKO, make sure https://akocac.us.army.mil or https://www.us.army.mil is NOT in your trusted sites (IE 8, 9, 10, and 11), Being in trusted sites is only required when using IE 6 & 7).
Here's How: Open Internet Explorer Go to Tools, Internet Options, Security (tab), Click on trusted sites (green checkmark), Click Sites (button) now click on https://akocac.us.army.mil and / or https://www.us.army.mil and then select Remove, close this window, then click OK.
Question 16: Receive "Insert card" when attempting to access AKO, DTS, OWA or any other CAC enabled website when your CAC is inserted in the CAC reader and you can see it through ActivClient.
Answer 16.1: Open Internet Explorer, Click Tools, Internet options, content (tab), certificates (button) and delete all the certificates listed. Remove, then Re-insert your CAC into the reader, your certificates should automatically reload. If they don't, open ActivClient, click Tools, Advanced, and select Make Certificates available to Windows.
Answer 16.2: Follow this PDF for correcting the settings in your Internet Explorer
Question 17: How do I change my AKO username after a legal name change.
Answer 17: Visit this AKO Help page regarding username change
Question 18: How do I send Digitally Signed, or Encrypted emails from AKO?
Answer 18: Visit this AKO Help page regarding how to set this up.
Question 19: Where can I change the settings to receive notifications via my AKO Email?
Answer 19: Visit this AKO Help page regarding how to adjust the settings.
Question 20: I am having problems using my CAC on AKO with Internet Explorer (IE 8, 9, 10 or 11)
Answer 20: Follow this PDF for correcting the settings in your Internet Explorer
Question 21: I am a contractor and my CAC expires on (pick a date) but my AKO account renewed before the change in naming convention began. I was not allowed to complete the online paperwork to renew my CAC without an email address with CTR in it, but I don't have one and won't automatically get one until my AKO account renews again early next year. Help!
Answer 21: Each contractor who has a CAC renewal before the AKO renewal will have to call the AKO Help desk (Now renamed to AESD (Army Enterprise Service Desk)
a. Commercial: 866-335-ARMY(2769), Select Option 3 for Unclassified support (Changed on 30 April 2013)
b. DSN: 312-560-1110 ask the operator to dial 866-335-2769, then Select Option 3 (Changed on 30 April 2013)
Provide your SSN and the answers to your security questions, the Help Desk will put in an order to change the AKO address.
Question 22: Can I check my "AKO email" on my mobile phone?
Answer 22: Yes you can, visit the mobile page for instructions.
Question 23: How can I make the AKO Webmail2 load faster?
Answer 23.1: Try this tweak (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't)
Answer 23.2: Other ideas are located at the top of this page.
Question 24: My email address is incorrect on my CAC, How can I fix it?
Answer 24-1: Visit this website: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/self_service, select Replace Certificate
NOTE: You have to logon to the site with your CAC. Visual steps
NOTE2: In my tests with Windows 7, it did NOT work with the Windows 7 built in Smart Card utility or with ActivClient installed. So, you will need to find a Windows Vista or XP computer.
An Air Force Major sent this: "When I tried to access the CAC User Maintenance Portal on a Windows 7 computer, the Java failed; however, when I tried the same thing on my Windows 7 computer at work (.mil domain), Java still failed but I got a popup dialog that told me I had to use the 64-bit version of IE and Java. When I started a browser session with the 64-bit IE, I was able to get to the User Maintenance Portal just fine."
Answer 24-2: You can also visit an ID card office
Question 25: Receive following message when trying to logon to AKO with your CAC:
HTTP Status 400 - Invalid path /authenticate was requested
message Invalid path /authenticate was requested
description The request sent by the client was syntactically incorrect (Invalid path /authenticate was requested).
Answer 25: Internet Explorer users:
1. Verify you have the latest DoD certificates installed
2. Follow the guidance in this PDF to make sure your browser is configured correctly.
3. Go to: Tools, Internet Options, Advanced (tab) and click on: Restore advanced settings (button)
4. If you are using your Favorites to access AKO, try from this direct link: https://www.us.army.mil If this works, it means your AKO link in your favorites is too old. Once it works, add this new one to your Favorites.
Answer 25a: Firefox users:
1. Upgrade to the latest version of Firefox
2. If you are using your Bookmarks to access AKO, try from this direct link: https://www.us.army.mil If this works, it means your AKO link in your Bookmarks is too old. Once it works, add this new one to your Bookmarks.
Question 26: Receive the following message when trying to send an attachment via AKO webmail: "Empty or Invalid File"
Question 27: Why can't I digitally sign emails with AKO webmail?
NOTE: This option is not available for individuals who have been migrated to Mail.mil
Answer 27: Webmail: https://webmail2.us.army.mil: You need to be using ActivClient, set your account for S/MIME (see NOTE below), and select Signing Certificate (located under Options, Mail, Local Account, Security) You may be prompted about a Java warning. Select Don't Block
NOTE: To set your account for S/MIME, login to regular AKO, select My Account, Mail Options, check the box titled: Enable S/MIME
Question 27a: Why can't I digitally encrypt emails with AKO webmail?
Answer 27a: You need the receiving person's public key. You can have them send you a digitally signed email and then add them to your contacts, or look at the White Pages.mil, or GDS (Global Directory Services) pages to get their public key. NOTE: both of the sites require you to login with your CAC.
Question 28: I'm receiving: "AKO is temporarily unavailable. We expect to be back online momentarily" when trying to login to AKO.
Answer 28: You are using a link in your Favorites to access AKO, try from this direct link: https://www.us.army.mil If this works, it means your AKO link in your favorites is too old. Once it works, add the new one to your Favorites.
Question 29: I cannot remember my password, how do I reset it?
Answer 29: Visit https://www.us.army.mil/suite/pages/lostpwd/view.ext enter your AKO user ID, you will be given some choice to reset your password.
If you have questions or suggestions for this site, contact Michael J. Danberry
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Last Update or Review: Saturday, 23 April 2016 21:32 hrs
The following domain
names all resolve to the same website: ChiefsCACSite.com,
CommonAccessCard.us, CommonAccessCard.info, & ChiefGeek.us
The following domain names all resolve to the same website: ChiefsCACSite.com, CommonAccessCard.us, CommonAccessCard.info, & ChiefGeek.us