News about the Secret Service has been pretty bad lately. A fence jumper running into the White House certainly does nothing to enhance the agency’s reputation.

But in one way, the Secret Service has received a bit of a bad rap. A panel appointed to examine the agency in the wake of the September fence-jumping episode produced a strong report that called for new leadership, increased staffing and better training for Presidential Protective Division (PPD) agents and officers in the Uniformed Division (UD).

One widely cited part of the December report issued by the U.S. Secret Service Protective Mission Panel said “training for the Uniformed Division has also fallen below acceptable levels. In FY 2013, Service data shows that the Uniformed Division as a whole received 576 hours of training, or about 25 minutes for each of over 1300 Uniformed Division officers.”

That 25 minutes was repeatedly deplored during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Thursday with the panel members.

“I think all of us are just taken aback by the 25 minutes of average training,” said Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.).

One problem — 25 minutes as a stand-alone figure is misleading, as Russell, a freshman, revealed with his line of questioning:

“As a former combat infantrymen, that’s just astounding when you are entrusted with so many things where you may have to protect somebody’s life. That just seems totally inadequate. Did any of that 25 minutes of training include sustaining the accurate employment of firearms?”

Gray: “So the data that we were given from the Secret Service did not include the time spent on firearms or qualifications and the like. And so the numbers that we provided in our report, 42 hours of training in fiscal year ’13 for PPD, and 25 minutes on average for the Uniform Division, that was apart from firearms or qualification.”

Accounting for firearms means the officers received more than 25 minutes of training. UD officers apparently still received too-little training, just not as little the panel’s language indicates.

Read more in the Federal Diary.