Art McDonald ascended to the post of chief of the Defence Staff of Canada last month. The title belongs to the top military officer in Canada. Similar to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the United States.

The Canadian military has been in a state of turmoil over matters like the treatment of women and minorities. It had been hoped that McDonald would bring about changes to address these issues. But that might not be happening anytime soon.

Under investigation amid allegations of misconduct

Just weeks into his assignment, Art McDonald is leaving it.

In theory, it's temporarily. Whether or not he would return apparently depends on findings of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service. The CBC indicates that National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjal confirmed his stepping aside in a late-night announcement.

The possible misconduct under investigation took place in 2010. At the time, McDonald was captain aboard the HCMS Montreal, participating in Operation Nanook. Details released to the public have been vague. But the allegations apparently involve a junior female officer and an alcohol-fueled party.

Without much knowledge, jumping to conclusions wouldn't be advisable, especially with the ongoing investigation. But the possible implications and inferences of the case could be devastating.

As noted by The Chronicle Herald, one of McDonald's first acts as chief was issue an apology. It was focused on women and minorities who've experienced discrimination in Canada's military ranks. Whatever progress there might've been on that front could be dealt a setback.

And there is the fact that McDonald isn't the only one-time Defence Staff chief under investigation.

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McDonald's predecessor, Jonathan Vance, is also under similar scrutiny on similar allegations. A former Canadian Army general, Vance was the chief of the Defence Staff beginning in 2015. His father, Jack Vance, had been vice chief of the Defence Staff.

Before becoming the chief himself, Art McDonald led the Royal Canadian Navy as its commander.

Before that, he was the commander of Maritime Forces Pacific.

Wayne Eyre serving as the acting chief

For the time being, Wayne Eyre is taking over in McDonald's stead. A lieutenant-general, Eyre is the commander of the Canadian Army. Other posts he's held include deputy commander of United Nations Command.

The Army, along with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force, make up the country's military forces. The current commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, following McDonald, is Craig Banes. Meanwhile, the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force is Al Meinzinger.