FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Army News Service, May 20, 2008) - Almost 2 million users are now registered with Army Knowledge Online and Defense Knowledge Online.

The AKO/DKO Project Office expects to reach the 2 million user milestone this week, said Sheldon Smith. He said about half of those users log in with the common access card and the office expects to reach the one-millionth registered CAC user within the next few weeks.

These milestones are progressive steps toward implementation of the Defense Knowledge Online portal, officials said. They explained that the AKO/DKO project office is part of the Army Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems or PEO EIS.

"We've achieved an unprecedented level of users as we prepare the portal to support as many as 2.5 million users by the fall of 2008, a goal of 3.5 million by 2010, and a potential goal of as many as eight million users" said Col. James Barrineau, AKO/DKO project director. "Our portal is constantly growing and improving toward becoming a Defense-wide enterprise collaboration infrastructure."

Among AKO/DKO account holders are members and guests from all services. The top five Army account types are Active Army, National Guard, Army Reserve, Army Civilian and Army Retired. DKO account types include: DoD Civilian and contractor, U.S. Marine Corps Active and Reserve; U.S. Navy Active, Reserve, Civilian and contractor; and, Air Force Active, Reserve, Civilian and contractor.

AKO/DKO requires mandatory use of the CAC for account sponsorship, password changes, and file access control. AKO/DKO began implementation of the CAC requirement in 2006, first phasing in active-duty and Department of the Army civilians, followed by National Guard and Reserves in March 2007.

CACs are smart cards issued as a standard means of identification for active- duty military and Reserve, Civilian employees, and eligible contractors. These cards act as authentication devices for use with DoD computer systems, officials explained.

The CAC operates on a Public Key Infrastructure, or PKI, that is used by DoD as an additional layer of security for access to DoD networks and system applications. Users posting content on the AKO/DKO portal can "lock down" access to their information via "CAC Only" if they desire an additional layer of protection.