Going through and watching Voyager again, I'm noticing a difference in pips for the officers of similar ranks. For instance, Torres and Carey are both lieutenants, yet they have different pips. At first, I thought it was because Torres was Chief Engineer. However, she had the different pips BEFORE that promotion.


Picture of Lt. Torres


Picture of Lt. Carey

Also noticing, Chakotay has a different insignia than the regular commander pips:

Picture of Cmdr. Chakotay

  • 2
    nothing says we're one big happy crew full of former traitors to the Federation than literally marking them as such
    – NKCampbell
    Apr 14, 2022 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


Chakotay, Torres, and the rest of the Voyager's Maquis population held provisional ranks (which the alternate pips denote) while serving on Voyager, as they weren't actual Starfleet officers when they boarded the ship and Janeway (apparently) didn't have the authority to make them full officers.

  • Okay, then what about Paris? He wasn't a Starfleet officer, and yet he was given a battlefield commission? On top of that, Chakotay HAD been an actual officer. Why only provisional?
    – PiousVenom
    Nov 29, 2013 at 6:38
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    Paris wasn't Maquis, either. He was simply a disgraced former officer, not a full-blown rebel/traitor/deserter. I think Janway allowed the Maquis members of her crew to retain their separate identity in exchange for their cooperation.
    – John Bode
    Nov 29, 2013 at 15:59
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    @JohnBode - Paris was Marquis at one point. He says to Janeway in the first episode: "I was angry. I went looking for a fight and found the Marquis". Its the reason he was locked up in the first place. Its also the reason for the contention between him and Chakotay (which lasted all of one episode).
    – Robotnik
    Dec 5, 2013 at 9:26
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    Paris wasn't kicked out of Starfleet, as he said in the first episode "I was forced to resign", that's when he joined the Maquis, also as Janeway puts it when she enlists his help "Officially you'd be a 'Starfleet Observer' which lends to the credibility that Paris was reinstated as a member of Starfleet for the mission, which would apparently make him eligible for a battlefield commission.
    – Wranorn
    Jan 24, 2019 at 1:29

Paris had been part of the Maquis but wasn't considered welcome any longer after he was captured and served time in the Federation Penal Colony in New Zealand. The Maquis under Chakotay's command on the Val Jean were given permission to wear their rank insignia in a tribute to their cause.

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