I was being an ass.
Leading a horse to water.
Every member of Chakotay's crew, no matter their qualifications or definitive lack and absence of qualifications was given a uniform because as Janeway said in the beginning that they were one crew, a starfleet crew.
The maquis however, including Chakotay and the Chief Engineer were given "provisional rank badges" instead of pips. So although the maquis were wearing uniforms, their rank was IMAGINARY.
Kim had a higher rank than Chakotay all along, so he didn't have to feel like complete shit all the time for being the lowest ranked officer on the ship when obviously for many of his clusterfuckeries I would have demoted him through the floor into non-commissioned ranks ranks like Petty Officer and then defrocked the little bugger for his next transgression and then evicted him for the blunder after that.
Kim, Carey and all the real Starfleet officers HUMOURED the Maquis.
(At least that must have been Janeway and Tuvok's tinking for the first few weeks before thier backbones turned into marshmellow given what we found out in Worst Case Scenario.)