A CAC reader is not required to log into AKO. If you need to change your password and make changes to accounts you’ll need a CAC.
All Army AKO users who have a CAC should now be migrated to DISA’s Enterprise Email and will no longer be able to access email via username / password. DISA mail uses Microsoft Exchange and requires 100% CAC use from the https://web.mail.mil Outlook Web App site.
If you’re looking to use a CAC to log into your AKO account, or other CAC site, you can try using a Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) and not install any CAC software on your computer.