01/16/2017 01:08 EST | Updated 01/16/2017 03:31 EST

Vice Chief Of Defence Staff Mark Norman Temporarily Relieved From Duty

No public explanation has been given for the decision.

OTTAWA — One of the military's highest ranking officers has been swiftly removed from his post with no public explanation.

Vice chief of defence staff Mark Norman was relieved of his military duties by his boss, defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance, in a letter dated Jan. 13 but made public Monday.

The tersely worded letter did not give a reason for the sudden change of command and a spokesman for Vance did not elaborate, saying only that "for the time being," Norman would not be carrying out the functions of the job.

Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman speaks with Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd at a change of command ceremony on June 23, 2016 in Ottawa. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)

"At this time, we have no additional information to provide," Lt.-Col. Jason Proulx said in an email.

The defence minister's office also provided no detail.

"I fully support the decision taken by the CDS to relieve the VCDS from the performance of military duty," was all Harjit Sajjan would say in a statement.

The RCMP would not say whether they had Norman under investigation for any reason, noting they never generally confirm or deny who is or isn't under scrutiny.

But Canada's military police said they were not involved.

"We weren't, and we are not, investigating on this case," Maj. Jean-Marc Mercier, a public affairs officer with the military police group said in an interview.

Norman was the head of the Royal Canadian Navy before he became the vice chief of defence staff last summer.

The role is essentially the second-in-command post for the entire military.

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd — who took over command of the navy from Norman — has now been appointed as interim vice chief.

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