Army Spouse and Retirees Smartcard Pilot

Friday October 7, 2011

What is it?

The Army Spouse and Retiree Smartcard Pilot program will evaluate smartcard identity authentication as an alternative to username/password login to several Army and DOD websites. The pilot will analyze the card and reader distribution process, the user experience with card reader installation and the overall acceptance of the card as a replacement for username/ password login.

Smartcards will not change participants' level of access; they will see the same information as before. The pilot is part of a larger initiative to secure sensitive data on Army private web servers, and to provide the spouse and retiree community with more secure access to online resources and personally identifiable information. The Army Chief Information Officer/G-6 Governance, Acquisition, and Chief Knowledge Office is executing the pilot with support from the Defense Manpower Data Center, Army Knowledge Online (AKO), Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management/Installation Management Command, Army G-1 and TRICARE Management Activity.

What has the Army done?

CIO/G-6 introduced the pilot April 21, 2011, at the Installation Management Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. A proof of concept was executed July 18-29 at Fort Belvoir, Va., with 45 volunteers. A survey showed that a significant majority of volunteers rated the smartcard experience as positive. CIO/G-6 made minor service desk improvements to ensure an all-around positive pilot experience.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

More than 500 spouses and retirees have registered for the pilot, which will run from Oct. 11, 2011, through March 30, 2012, at Fort Belvoir, Va., Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Gordon, Ga., Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Jackson, S.C. Volunteers (retired active duty/Army National Guard/Army Reserve and spouses) are still being accepted. Participants will complete three surveys during the pilot to capture their experiences in installing the reader and using the smartcard. AKO, Army OneSource, Army Family Readiness Group, milConnect and TRICARE Online will also provide smartcard utilization metrics. CIO/G-6 will compile results and provide pilot findings to Army senior leadership, and to pilot participants.

Why is this important to the Army?

By replacing usernames and passwords with public key infrastructure (PKI)-based authentication using the smartcard, the Army Network will become more secure. In addition, spouses and retirees will have a more secure and convenient method for accessing Army and DOD online resources and sites that contain personally identifiable information.

Resources:

Detailed information about the pilot and volunteer registration can be found at: Smartcard Pilot support portal (AKO log-in required)

CIO/G-6 website

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