Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on 4/10/13 that he would request Congress change U.S. Military law removing from senior commanders the authority to alter court martial verdicts for major crimes, including sex assault and murder. Hagel's decision follows an Air Force General's ruling last February that dismissed a pilot's sexual assault conviction. The General's ruling sparked an outcry in Congress to end commanders' powers to overturn sexual assault convictions. In March New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called a hearing before the Armed Services Committee on sexual assaults in the military, the first ten years where military officials from each branch of the armed services were called to testify. Sexual assault survivors and advocates testified that many victims are no longer in the military while the officers involved have retired or remain in the military. When commanders have the discretion in the courts-martial to reduce and overturn jury verdicts, some accused service members (even those convicted of sexual assault) are able to remain in the military. The Executive Director of the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), Anu Bhagwati, praised Secretary Hagel's effort, but said the Pentagon needs to give more power to prosecutors and judges. Commanders' authority should be reduced even further, Bhagwati said, according to a Washington Post report 4/18/13.