DOD CAC Certificate Reduction and Realignment Plan

Thursday, June 21, 2018

What is it?

Department of Defense (DOD) CAC Certificate Reduction and Realignment Plan, developed by the DOD Chief Information Officer (CIO), will modify the Common Access Card (CAC) to align with guidelines and enhance interoperability with other federal agencies.

The plan entails modifying the certificates currently stored on the CAC as follows:

  • Remove the ID certificate
  • Realign the Email Signing certificate to perform signature functions only
  • Activate the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) authentication certificate to perform all authentication functions.

What has the Army done / is doing?

Defense Manpower Data Center issues CACs for three years at a time. The DOD plan requires the Army to prepare users and Public Key Enabled (PKE) Information Technology resources (e.g., networks, systems, applications, etc.) to execute this realignment plan.

For most users this transition will happen behind the scenes with the exception of following users whose CACs meet the following two conditions:

  • Issued prior to Feb. 24, 2018.
  • Have an expiration date later than 18 months after the DOD CAC Certificate Reduction and Realignment Plan memorandum is signed.

Stakeholders across the Army and DOD, have worked together to plan the Army’s way ahead in compliance with the DOD guidance for the CAC changes. Stakeholders include the Army CIO/G-6, Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA (ALT)) and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC).

Beginning February 24, 2018, DMDC began issuing the new CACs with an activated PIV Authentication Certificate. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) was provided user awareness and assistance information to disseminate to Army CAC ID offices to prepare them to respond to inquiries concerning the activated PIV Authentication Certificate.

On April 17, 2018, the Army published a memorandum, “Upcoming Changes to the DOD Common Access Card,” that provides general awareness of upcoming changes and instructions for Army users who wish to activate their PIV authentication certificate via the RAPIDS Self-Service ID Card Office Online.

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

The Army will continue to provide additional information on the DOD CAC Certificate Reduction and Realignment Plan, transition timelines and actions Army users and system owners must take to successfully realign and reduce CAC certificates across the Army.

Why is this important to the Army?

Certificate reduction and realignment will increase Army’s operational effectiveness by facilitating CAC access to information across federal and DOD IT resources.


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