Common Access Card

To get to most Army systems you’ll need a CAC, a CAC Reader, and a computer with the right certificates installed. If you’re on a government computer most of the time they are ready to go. If you want to access sites from home or a personal computer it can be done. Below are instructions on how to just check email from home to how to setup a VPN from your personal computer to access sites that a restricted to government networks.

Below is a list of common sites you can access and if you can access them with just a CAC reader from home or if you need VPN access or a Government computer

Website NameURLVPN AccessCAC Access on MacCAC Access on Windows
Medpros (there is a menu option for Medpros)YesNoNo
Commander’s Portal (there is a menu option for the CP)YesNoNo
Army Learning Management System
Army Pubs
(can be accessed with a username/password too)

Step 1: Get a CAC Reader. This reader is generally known to work well with both Mac and Windows devices without drives. The Identiv SCR3310v2. If you find your reader is not working, you may need to google and see if it requires additional drivers.

Step 2: Go to our Finder and find the Application folder. Inside the Application Folder find the Utilities folder. Inside the Utilities folder look for the Keychain Access application and open it.

Step 3: Hit “Login” in the left column then “All Items” in the lower part of it. Look for an existing DOD certificates. If this is your first time attempting to install them you likely won’t see any. If you’ve attempted to install them before you might see something like this. If you see them delete them all.

Step 4: Install the following certificates by downloading them and double clicking on them.

Step 5: Go back to your Keychain Access and look at the certificates it installed. If there are any with a red circle with an X in it then the computer does not trust those. Double click on each of them and in the dialog that pops up select “Always Trust”.

Step 5: Upgrade your operating system to Mojave (version 10.14 or higher). If you click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen then select “About this Mac” it will open a window and tell you what version you have.

Step 6: Open Safari and go to a website like When it asks you which certificate to use select the EMAIL one since you are accessing your webmail. Then enter your pin. 

IMPORTANT: Sometimes you need to enter your pin multiple times, especially, the first time you try to access a site. If it keeps asking your pin try several more times UNLESS it is telling you your PIN is wrong. Sometimes you will get an error screen but as long as it is asking for your pin you can keep trying.

IMPORTANT: Start by using Safari. With the newest version of MacOS it is well supported with CACs. You can also try Chrome as many people have luck with that too without much additional configuration.

Step 1: Get a CAC Reader. This reader is generally known to work well with both Mac and Windows devices without drives. The Identiv SCR3310v2. If you find your reader is not working, you may need to google and see if it requires additional drivers. Make sure you also have Windows 10, which supports most readers once you install the DOD Certificates below.

Step 2: Download this install file.

Step 3: Double click on the install file and follow the on screen installation steps. At the end it will have a button to Run InstallRoot. Select that.

Step 4: Open Internet Explorer and try to access a site like Select your EMAIL certificate when it asks which certificate to use. If you don’t see your EMAIL cert click “See More Choices” in the window. 

IMPORTANT: You can use Microsoft Edge to go to most sites. However, if it doesn’t work, try Internet Explorer. The first few times you to access a site it may ask for your PIN several times. That’s normal as long as it’s NOT saying you’re PIN was entered incorrectly.

There are certain sites you can only access while on a government network or logged in through VPN at home.

Keep in mind VPN can run very slow at times. It works most reliably with Windows machines but some people can get it to work on Macs. Be patient when using it.

Step 1: Get an ARNet Account. You have to apply for an ARNet account with someone who is on a government network. At Battle Assembly see your UA or Ops/Training NCO. Usually someone on the full time staff can help you out.

Step 2: After applying you may have to take several cyber awareness classes to be granted access.

Step 3: Once you have an ARNet Account go to:

Step 4: Use your EMAIL certificate anytime you are trying to access the VPN servers. Once you are logged in you can use what is normally required for sites you are visiting.

Step 5: When you get to this page hit “Details” next to the AR Desktop.

Step 6: When you get to this page hit “Open”

Step 7: Wait…chances are it will take a long time for the system to connect to a remote server and start to login. 

Step 8: When you get to the login screen for the Windows Server it will default a Username and Password. Under it will be a little logo that looks like a CAC chip or it may say “Other Sign In Options”, click either of those. You’re trying to get to your CAC certificates. You have two. You’re on the right one when it shows your name@XXXXXXXXX with 9 digits following. it. There will be one with more digits, but select the one with 9. 

Step 9: You’ll have to wait a long time again after you enter your PIN for it to log you in.

Step 10: Once you’re in you’re on a government network and able to access almost any site you normally would at your Reserve Center.

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