J. R. Martinez - Wikiwand
For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for J. R. Martinez.

J. R. Martinez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

J. R. Martinez
J. R. Martinez in 2008
Jose Rene Martinez

(1983-06-14) June 14, 1983 (age 37)
motivational speaker
soldier (veteran)
Years active2008–present (acting)
Spouse(s)Diana Jones (m.2018–present)
ChildrenLauryn Anabelle Martinez (b. 2012)
Military career
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service2002–2003
Battles/warsIraq War
AwardsCombat Action Ribbon (Needs Review – Awarded by United States Navy – United States Marine Corps – United States Coast Guard)

Jose Rene Martinez (born June 14, 1983)[1] is an American actor, motivational speaker, and former U.S. Army soldier. Starting in 2008, he played the role of Brot Monroe on the ABC daytime drama All My Children. He is the winner of Season 13 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Martinez served as the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Rose Parade.[2] He is currently costarring on the syndicated action series SAF3.

In 2003, Martinez sustained severe burns to over 34 percent of his body while serving as an Army infantryman in Iraq. Since his recovery, he has traveled around the country speaking about his experiences to corporations, veterans groups, schools, and other organizations.

Early life

Martinez was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Maria Zavala.[1] He has two sisters who were raised with his mother's family in El Salvador. His sister Anabel died before Martinez ever had the chance to meet her.[3] Martinez has never met his father.[4] At a young age, he moved with his mother to Hope, Arkansas.[1] At 17, just prior to his senior year of high school, they moved to Dalton, Georgia.[1]


Military career

This section, except for two footnotes at the end, includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this section, except for two footnotes at the end, by introducing more precise citations. (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

In September 2002, Martinez enlisted in the Army and underwent Basic and Advanced Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where, upon his graduation, was assigned the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 11B (Infantryman). After reporting to Fort Campbell in January 2003, he was assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

In February 2003, he was deployed to the Middle East. Two months later, Martinez was driving a Humvee when its left front tire hit an IED; Martinez suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 34 percent of his body. He was evacuated to Ramstein AB, Germany, for immediate care and transferred to the Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Texas. He spent 34 months at BAMC and has undergone 33 plastic surgery and skin graft surgeries.[5][6]

Motivational speaking

Martinez has become a motivational speaker. In 2008, he was honored as a "Shining Star of Perseverance" by the WillReturn Council of Assurant Employee Benefits.[7][8] The following year, the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) presented him with the Veterans Leadership Award.[9]

Acting career

In 2008, Martinez was cast in ABC's daytime drama All My Children as Brot Monroe.[10] His character also served with the Army in Iraq and was injured in combat. Martinez first appeared on the program on Friday, November 7, 2008.[citation needed] In 2012, he appeared on the season six finale of Army Wives as a physical therapist treating injured veterans.[11] In 2013 he began on the syndicated SAF3 portraying a Los Angeles County Firefighter/Paramedic and veteran USAF Pararescue Jumper Alfonso Rivera.

Work with burn-survivor community

Martinez first began providing support to fellow burn survivors while being treated for his burn injuries at Brooke Army Medical Center.[12] He has served as a member of the board of directors of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.[13] He first attended the Phoenix Society's World Burn Congress in 2008 and was a featured speaker at the 2010 World Burn Congress.[12][14] Martinez had a fellow burn survivor, Jenna Bullen, attend taping of "Dancing with the Stars" as his guest and has taped a public service announcement with her on behalf of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.[15][16] Martinez is also active with "Operation Finally Home", an organization that builds housing for American veterans and their families so they may live mortgage-free.[17] Said Martinez of the project: “We’re not just giving them keys to open up the door to go into their home. We’re also giving them the key to opportunity, the key to know there are people who appreciate them, the key to positivity, the key to new beginnings.” [17]

Dancing with the Stars

Martinez often tells the story of how his mother helped him relearn to walk eight weeks after major foot surgery. Martinez's win also marked the first win for his partner, Karina Smirnoff. He credits her with pushing him to excel in routine after routine leading him to win the competition.[18]

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz/ "Breakaway" 8 7 7 Safe
2 Jive/"Jump, Jive An' Wail!" 7 7 8 Safe
3 Rumba/"If You're Reading This" 9 8 9 Safe
4 Foxtrot/Theme from "The Pink Panther" 8 9 9 Safe
5 Samba/"Conga" 9 9 10 Safe
6 Quickstep/"Hot Honey Rag" from Chicago 10 9 10 Safe
7 Tango/Theme from "Ghostbusters" 9 8 8 Safe
Team Tango/"Disturbia" 8 7 8
8 Waltz/"What the World Needs Now" 10 10 10 Safe
Jive/"Tutti Fruiti" 10 10 10
9 Paso Doble/"Theme from The Legend of Zorro" 8 7 8 Last to be called Safe
Argentine Tango/"Bust Your Windows" 9 9 9
Cha-Cha-Cha Relay/"I Like How It Feels" Awarded 6 Points
10 Cha-Cha-Cha/"Let's Get Loud" 8 7 9 WINNER
Freestyle/"Whine Up" 10 10 10
Jive/"Jump, Jive An' Wail!" Awarded 28 Points
Samba/"Shake Your Bon-Bon" 10 10 10


Martinez's first appearance as a radio host was December 21, 2012, when he stood in for Bill Carroll of KFI-AM 640.[19] On January 24, 2013, he began his regularly scheduled radio show on Sunday evenings.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d "My Story in My Words". J.R. Martinez (official site). Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  2. ^ 'Dancing with the Stars' contestant, Iraq war veteran named Rose Parade Grand Marshal Archived January 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Pasadena Star-News, November 1, 2011
  3. ^ "J. R.'s Story". Knowjr.com. June 14, 1983. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "Wounded Veteran and Soap Opera Star to Speak at Clarkson University" (Press release). Clarkson.edu. February 25, 2010. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  5. ^ "Cpl. J. R. Martinez, U.S. Army (Ret.)." Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Bio on SaluteHeroes.org.
  6. ^ "Jr Martinez | J. R. Martinez may appear on "Dancing With the Stars"". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  7. ^ Perseverance Hall of Fame Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Ability Magazine: JR Martinez – Soldiering On" (2008)". Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  9. ^ "IAVA Heroes Gala 2009" Archived July 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Audio of Martinez's acceptance speech
  10. ^ "Iraq war veteran cast in 'All My Children'" Story on www.upi.com.
  11. ^ Messina, Kim (2012). "Army Wives Blog: 'Dancing With the Stars' Winner J.R. Martinez to Star on Season 6! - Army Wives Blog | myLifetime.com". mylifetime.com. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "J. R. Martinez Fighting the Battle of a Lifetime" Burn Support News, Fall 2008
  13. ^ Phoenix Society Board of Directors web page
  14. ^ "J. R. Martinez Fighting the Battle of a Lifetime" Burn Support News, Fall 2008
  15. ^ "J. R. Martinez Burn Recovery: From Coma to 'Dancing With The Stars'" ABC News Medical Unit, October 11, 2011
  16. ^ "JVideo! J. R. Martinez Reaches Out to Burn Survivors in New PSA" extratv @.warnerbros website Stars Give Back, October 10, 2011
  17. ^ a b Carter, Gayle Jo (March 28, 2013). "Cause Celeb: J.R. Martinez". USA Today Weekend. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  18. ^ Citation
  19. ^ "J.R. MARTINEZ FILLS IN FOR BILL CARROLL". Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  20. ^ "KFI AM 640 Welcomes J.R. Martinez". Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
Dancing with the Stars (US) winners
Season 13
(Fall 2011 with Karina Smirnoff)
Succeeded by
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
J. R. Martinez
Listen to this article