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The uniforms of the United States Navy include dress uniforms, daily service uniforms, working uniforms, and uniforms for special situations, which have varied throughout the history of the navy. For simplicity in this article, officers refers to both commissioned officers and warrant officers. The United States Navy has three categories of dress uniforms, from least to most formal: service, full, and dinner dress. Service dress uniforms are worn for official functions not rising to the level of full or dinner dress. They are also commonly worn when traveling in official capacity, or when reporting to a command. The civilian equivalent is a business suit.
The NWU is a "working" uniform, which means that is made to a more durable and utilitarian standard, thus being worn in lieu of more formal and delicate uniforms that might get unduly damaged or dirtied in the process of normal military duties. Made from a ripstop nylon-cotton blend, there are currently three variants of the NWU in use by the U. Navy sailors while ashore or in port, the NWU Type II, which is primarily brown and tan and is designed to be worn in sandy, arid, and desert battlefield environments, and the NWU Type III, which is primarily black and green in hue and is designed to be worn in more temperate environments such as the contiguous United States. Navy in limited quantities beginning in late By late , it had completely replaced most other "working" uniforms. Though the NWU Type I was originally intended for shipboard use, it soon was dropped from that role when it was realized that the uniforms were not suitable for such duties due to their lack of flame resistance, as fires are a serious threat to sailors aboard a warship.