MARIETTA, Ga. -

Gov. Nathan Deal is praising the Georgia Army National Guard for receiving a top military award.

Deal held a ceremony Monday at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta to honor the Georgia Army National Guard for receiving a 2013 Army Communities of Excellence award.
    
All Army National Guard organizations in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia participate in the annual competition that recognizes those providing excellence in facilities, services and support to soldiers and their families.
    
Deal says the award reflects the "hard work, integrity and commitment to excellence" of the Georgia Army National Guard's 11,000 citizen-soldiers.
    
The governor also signed a bill into law designed to help veterans use their military certifications and experience to obtain certain professional licenses in the state.