The group met Thursday at the Pentagon.
After nabbing the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy on Season 13 of "Dancing With the Stars," Martinez received a call from Panetta, inviting him to the Pentagon for a personal meeting.
Also present at the meeting were Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.
Martinez, 28, was severely burned over more than 40 percent of his body when the Humvee he was driving for the U.S. Army in Iraq struck a land mine in 2003. After dozens of operations during a nearly three-year recovery, Martinez became a motivational speaker and in 2008 won a role on the now-retired ABC soap opera "All My Children."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.