FORT BELVOIR, Va. – As part of its ongoing modernization efforts, the Army is accelerating initiatives to provide Soldiers, civilian employees, and contractors the ability to connect securely to Army resources from anywhere in the world. The Army Bring Your Own Device initiative helps users stay remotely connected to Army 365 email, Teams, OneDrive, and more from their personal devices, enabling a remote workforce.
Army senior leaders have identified the Army’s unified network as the backbone of the Army’s modernization efforts. Mobility, agility, and data-centricity are critical for maintaining a competitive advantage against adversaries on the battlefield at all echelons. Now, the Army is taking the next step with its BYOD initiative, ensuring users can access the network on their personal devices from anywhere in the world.
“Our number-one priority when it comes to transformation is the network,” said Gen. Randy George, Army Chief of Staff, at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting. “Command and control is foundational to how we fight and, frankly, many of the systems the Army has today just do not support effective [command and control].”
Army BYOD enables personnel to work remotely through two enterprise capabilities for Army mobile and virtual desktop infrastructure. Both capabilities are voluntary and best used in conjunction with one another to provide users with the ease and freedom of on-the-go mobile connectivity and the ability to access their full Army desktop and suite of Army 365 tools when needed for more in-depth work.
Army Mobile: Hypori Halo
At no additional cost to the unit or the user, the Hypori mobile capability provides on-the-go, zero-trust access to Army 365 and most CAC-enabled websites and allows users to send and receive encrypted emails. No CAC is needed to log in once the user’s identity is verified during set-up. Hypori is available on a voluntary basis for all Army 365 users, including Soldiers, civilians, and contractors.
“[BYOD] is a top priority for us, and it is a game changer because when our Soldiers and airmen are not at the armory, they have to be connected in a secure way,” said Ken McNeill, chief information officer of the National Guard Bureau.
Hypori Halo software works on iOS, Android, and Windows devices and provides zero-trust protection on a virtual platform. Risk to Army data is mitigated in case of a lost or stolen device since no information is ever stored on the user’s device.
Hypori began as a pilot in July 2022 and has now been approved as an enterprise-wide service.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: Azure Virtual Desktop
AVD, like Hypori, is available to Army 365 users at no additional cost. AVD provides users full access to the Army network from their personal MacOS or Windows laptop, desktop, or tablet using their Army 365 credentials. The single-sign-on experience leverages your personal device as a Windows 11 virtual machine.
Members can connect confidently with the AVD app, knowing the Army cannot access any of their personal data and that government data will not be stored on their personal devices. The device serves as a “virtual window,” providing the user access to the cloud, but the data never leaves the cloud – the encrypted transmission remains secure, and the device remains private.
“Today, almost 25,000 people are able to securely access the network capabilities they need to conduct business from their personal device,” said Lt. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6, at the TechNet Augusta conference in August 2023. “[It is] more efficient, more effective and, quite frankly, if you want to reach me on the weekend, call me on my personal device; I don’t worry about carrying two phones anymore. It’s so reliable.”
Army BYOD capabilities not only save time and money, but also increase productivity by ensuring users have the flexibility, privacy and security to stay connected and work effectively from their preferred device anytime, anywhere.
“I really appreciate the Bring Your Own Device [program],” said Maj. Gen. Beth Salisbury, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) commanding general, during the 2023 AUSA annual meeting. “This is the best thing since sliced bread. I can be a Soldier at any moment from my phone and still balance my personal life wherever I want, whenever I want.”
The Army’s BYOD initiative helps accelerate the Army’s digital transformation efforts and puts the Army at the forefront of secure communications while enhancing mission effectiveness and readiness.
For more information on the Hypori Halo capability, please visit Hypori - Onboarding Homepage (sharepoint-mil.us).
For more information on AVD, please visit AVD - Onboarding Homepage (sharepoint-mil.us).