Confronting Somali pirates and Afghan insurgents seems a far cry from fabricating composites or molding materials. But yesterday’s keynote speaker, military legend Robert O’Neill, assured attendees of COMPOSITES 2013 that four principles apply to all occupations: (1) be prepared, (2) perform under pressure, (3) trust people you work with and (4) never quit.

From 2004-2012, O’Neill served as team leader of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six) in some of the most challenging, clandestine military roles of our time. He took part in more than 400 combat missions, including the Maersk Alabama hijacking and piracy incident that began with four Somali pirates seizing the U.A. cargo ship in 2009.

During his keynote address, “Never Quit: The Story of a Life Built on Successful Missions,” O’Neill shared how things learned during his elite military training and deployment translate to business.

Here are the top six quotes from the SEAL Team Six veteran: