The Army Common Access Card (CAC)/Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) program implements Department of Defense (DoD) policy to adopt smart card technology department-wide. Smart card technology implementation has been led through guidance and direction of the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Public Law 106-65, Defense Authorization Act for FY 2000. In response to these directives, the U.S. Army has aggressively pursued the programmatic steps required to ensure a seamless integration of this emerging technology at the operational level.
The CAC will be implemented to provide the following functionality: personnel identification, building access, network access utilizing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates and eventually sending and receiving digitally signed and encrypted email. The CAC will replace the current Teslin military identification card (ID) and serve as the official ID card for civilians and eligible contractors. The CAC will also be used for physical access to facilities and serve as a token to enable logical access to networks and systems.
The CAC will be issued using the existing Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System/Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System (DEERS/RAPIDS) infrastructure. Approximately 1.4 million CACs will be issued to all Army active duty military, National Guard members, select Reservists, DoD civilians and eligible contractors in FYs 01 to 02.