Vice Chief of Defence Staff Vice Admiral Mark Norman has been relieved of duty early Monday.

The current head of the Royal Canadian Navy, Vice Admiral Ron Lloyd, has replaced him, according to report.

At this point the Department of National Defence has not provided further details about Norman’s dismissal.

The military top commander, Gen. Jonathan Vance, ordered Norman to relinquish his post but offered no explanation. So far, there is also no indication that Norman is under investigation of any kind.

“The CDS has temporarily relieved the VCDS, VAdm Mark Norman, from the performance of military duty,” Vance’s spokesman Lt.Col. Jason Proulx said in an email statement. “For the time being, he will not be carrying out the functions of VCDS.”

“I fully support the decision taken by the (chief of defence staff) to relieve the (vice chief of defence staff) from the performance of military duty,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, said in a statement today.

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As the chief of staff’s second in command, Norman has been known as straightforward in his comments.

For instance, he had expressed disappointment in the decline of the navy’s size and capability.In

At least one defence and military affairs analyst characterized the dismissal as “surprising.”

“Admiral Norman is very highly regarded senior officer and very dedicated to his job,” David Perry, senior analyst for the Canadian Global Affairs Institute told Vanguard. “But this type of action although exceptional is not unheard off. It has happened in the past.”

Norman was considered to be “outspoken, but not any more or less than other senior officials,” he said. “If you compare him with say Gen. Hiller (former chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hiller), he would be considered almost mute.”

Perry said, that as VCDS, Norman’s portfolio covered a wide expanse. This included strategic resources management, long term planning for procurement, and force development.